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Programs & Services

Neurotrauma Program

Our Neurotrauma team cares for children who have suffered a traumatic brain or spine injury. When a child is severely injured and suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the ambulance crew could be making its way to our Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, which has emergency room nurses and physician specialists who are experienced with spine and brain injuries in children. The equipment in our Trauma Center is designed for children — not for adults — so everything they need is waiting for them. 

Stabilizing the Neurotrauma Patient

Blood flow

Once a neurotraumatic event occurs, the Trauma Center staff does not work on reversing the damage, but rather on stabilizing the patient’s oxygen flow to the brain. Much attention is spent on ensuring that the body and brain receives adequate blood flow, and that blood pressure is maintained. A body will often react to any trauma by a drop in blood pressure, but that can have a devastating impact on brain cells that need a steady flow of blood supply to help in the healing and recovery process. The Trauma Center nurses use intravenous fluids, medication, and elevation of the head to keep the vascular system of the neurotrauma patient working smoothly.

Body temperature

After a severe injury, the body will react to the stress with a fluctuating body temperature, so the Trauma Center staff will monitor body temperature carefully. A higher body temperature can rob brain cells of precious nutrients and oxygen flow. Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been on the forefront of research into the use of hypothermia (deliberately lowered body temperature) as a way to slow down the damage to brain cells and cut the risk of brain swelling.

Child-centered rehabilitation

After the patient has been stabilized and assessed, it’s vital to begin the rehabilitation process as soon as possible. Why? A child’s brain can rapidly "rewire" itself and begin healing after a neurotrauma injury. Our team of pediatric rehabilitation specialists is the only one in the state focused solely on children.

Back to school

School is an important part of a child’s normal routine. This is why we offer a school re-entry program. We’ll help you plan the child’s return to the classroom, including accommodations at school, special education needs and coordination of homebound services.

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