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Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit

The Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit provides the highest level of care possible for neurology and neurosurgery patients. In this intensive care unit, a highly experienced team of dedicated clinical providers from multiple disciplines provides around-the-clock care for patients recovering from complicated neurosurgery or life-threatening neurological conditions.

We provide comprehensive neurological services in a patient-centered care model that promotes a continuum of care.

The 24-bed unit opened in February 2016 and has the following features.

  • Each room has family accommodations and showers that allow family presence and participation in patient care.
  • Several infection prevention strategies have been designed into the unit:
    • Copper Enhanced Surfaces that eliminate bacteria and reduce hospital acquired infections.
    • Elimination of curtains by using internal blinds. 
  • Family communication rooms that allow private family discussions with physicians and with AV capabilities for showing patient education videos. 
  • Several features in the unit enhance the provider’s ability to provide patient care. The unit has been specifically built with rubber floors for noise reduction and are kinder on the feet of providers.
  • 360 degree booms that clear “cable and device clutter” around the patient and allow nurses to efficiently care for the patients.

Team Approach to Care

  • Patient-centered care in a shared decision making model that encourages patient and family participation in patient care and decisions.
  • Dedicated critical care physicians provide care around the clock. The critical care team includes residents, fellows, and advance practice providers.
  • A multidisciplinary team consisting of dedicated neuroscience-trained nursing, staff, dedicated pharmacist, supportive care nurse, case manager, social worker, respiratory therapists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and cognitive therapy, and nutritionists.
  • Wake Forest Baptist is a Comprehensive Stroke Center with support from vascular neurologists, Neuro-interventionalists, cerebrovascular surgeons and a Telestroke network..
  • Diagnostic support from neurosonology for transcranial dopplers and carotid ultrasonography. Epilepsy group provides key support for continuous EEG monitoring and all neurological sub-specialties for disease specific care. 

Education and Training

  • A neurocritical care academic rotation is offered to medical students, physician assistant students, residents and fellows who want to learn more about neurocritical care. 
  • For a tour or information, please contact Liz Leonard at 336-716-6533 or


  • Wake Forest Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit  participates in a number of multicenter NIH trials, including the use of thrombolysis for intraventricular hemorrhage (CLEAR IVH) and clot aspiration in intracranial hemorrhage (MISTIE).
  • In addition, there are a large number of faculty-initiated studies including use of ultrasonography to assess ventilator induced diaphragm dysfunction, ventilator strategies that reduce extubation failure in neurocritical care patients, understanding CSF markers in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and outcomes research in neurocritical care

Quality Improvement

Our Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit physicians, nursing staff, and advance practice providers participate in several quality and performance improvement initiatives. We have successfully launched  programs that have led to improved outcomes including early mobility program, optimization of anticoagulation and a supportive care nursing program.

Our Doctors

Aarti Sarwal, MD, Medical Director 

Kristi Tucker, MD

Sudhir Datar, MD

David L. Bowton, MD Section Chief 

Vidula Tushar Vachharajani, MD

Rajay Kumar Jain, M.B.B.S., MD

Drew A. MacGregor, MD

John P. Gaillard, MD

Jeffrey S. Kelly, MD

Quick Reference

Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit
For questions, feedback or interest in joining our team contact:

Aarti Sarwal, MD, Medical Director
Janet Crumpler, Clinical Nursing Manager

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Last Updated: 09-08-2017
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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