Neurocritical Care

The OHSU Brain Institute provides the most advanced neurocritical care in Oregon for patients with brain and nervous system conditions. We offer:  

  • A Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit with neurocritical care specialists on duty 24/7.
  • Team-based care from nationally recognized experts focused on the best-possible outcome for each patient. 
  • Comprehensive stroke care from our top-rated Stroke Program.
  • Leading-edge technology, including the latest monitoring  and imaging options. 
  • A commitment to research and clinical trials that improve patient care and outcomes.
  • A full team of specialists in neurocritical care, plus experts in rehabilitation, nutrition and support services. 

Patients we treat

We treat patients with conditions including:

  • Stroke, including intracranial hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Brain aneurysm 
  • Brain and spine vascular malformations, including AVMs, dural arteriovenous fistulas and cavernomas
  • Brain tumors
  • Seizures and status epilepticus (a prolonged seizure or continuous series of seizures)
  • Autoimmune, nerve and muscle disorders such as myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Spinal cord disorders, including myelopathy
  • Meningitis and encephalitis

We also treat patients who:

  •  Are paralyzed, in a coma or have other severe injuries.
  • Need continuous monitoring for conditions such as hydrocephalus or elevated intracranial (inside the skull) pressure.
  • In some cases, have had brain, nerve or spinal cord surgery.

Our services

Intensive Care Unit

Our Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit is the first in Oregon to provide around-the-clock care with in-house neurocritical-care doctors and advanced practice providers (physician assistants and nurse practitioners). We offer:

  • 17 beds close to operating rooms and interventional neuroradiology suites (for image-guided, minimally invasive procedures).
  • Patient rooms with advanced monitoring and lifts for early rehabilitation.
  • Immediate access to the latest imaging services such as CT (computed tomography) scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and angiography.
  • In-room CT scans when a patient cannot be moved.

Advanced monitoring

We use the latest monitoring technology to catch problems quickly and to protect healthy brain tissue. This includes:

  • Long-term, continuous video EEG (electroencephalography) monitoring to detect brain seizures.
  • Intracranial pressure monitoring and ventricular drains to drain built-up cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Leading-edge devices to track heart and lung function.


Our team is recognized as a national leader in neurocritical care. Stroke neurologists, neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists work closely with neurointensivists (neurocritical care doctors) to provide care tailored to each patient.

Advanced stroke care:

  • We are an experienced and high-volume center for stemming bleeding between the brain and its membrane. Our team limits damage caused by subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • Our doctors offer mechanical thrombectomy to remove blood clots. We use a tiny stent to restore blood flow to the brain to keep a blood clot from causing a severe stroke.

Team-based care

OHSU’s brain and nervous system specialists work together day and night to provide the best care possible.

Your care team may include:

  • Neurointensivists — doctors who specialize in neurocritical care for patients with brain and other nervous system disorders. They are in charge of ICU tests and treatments.
  • Advance practice providers — physician assistants and nurse practitioners who are trained in neurocritical care
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Doctors from other specialties
  • Pharmacists
  • A dietitian
  • Rehabilitation specialists, such as physical therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists
  • Social workers
  • Case managers
  • Palliative care specialists

Collaboration: The entire team meets twice a day inside or just outside your room to evaluate and adjust your care plan. You and/or your family are invited to join the discussion and help make care decisions. Your team works closely with other experts in the OHSU Brain Institute and/or the OHSU Stroke Program.

Research and clinical trials

Our doctors are leading-edge national researchers whose breakthroughs have led to advances that help patients recover from brain injuries and disorders. Our work includes a broad array of topics and approaches, including basic research to deepen scientific understanding.

We also work with the OHSU Stroke Program on national clinical trials. Your care team will talk with you about whether a clinical trial is right for you.

For patients

Learn about the treatments and services at the OHSU Brain Institute

Transfer your patient

Call 503-494-7000 to arrange an emergency transfer or to seek provider-to-provider advice.

OHSU has the only neurosciences ICU in Oregon to earn the AACN Beacon Award for Excellence. The award recognizes our unit's exceptional patient care and healthy work environment.

AACN Beacon Award for Excellence logo