Carilion Clinic provides the majority of acute care neurosurgical services to the western Virginia region (and a large portion of eastern West Virginia). Acute care neurosurgery covers a broad range of disorders and procedures all sharing in common an emergent or urgent nature. This type of service requires 24-7 coverage. At Carilion Clinic, the neurosurgery team routinely covers urgent and emergent neurosurgical situations from the emergency room, the trauma center, and from outlying hospitals up to several hours away.
A significant proportion of neurosurgical emergencies are related to trauma. At Carilion Clinic, 50 percent of emergency consultations are related to traumatic head and spine injuries. The neurosurgery team offers full-service trauma coverage with extensive experience and expertise in the treatment of severe brain injuries, traumatic hemorrhages, skull and sinus fractures, spinal cord injuries, neck and back fractures, and peripheral nerve injuries. The team works with trauma surgery, critical care, invasive radiology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, and others to provide the best care possible.
Acute care neurosurgery is not solely trauma-related. At the Carilion Clinic, the remaining 50 percent of emergent and urgent neurosurgical consultations involve a broad scope of brain and spinal disorders. Intracranial hemorrhages (bleeding within the brain), for example, is common. Patients on blood thinners, with weakened arteries, and with uncontrolled high blood pressure are particularly vulnerable. When a hemorrhage occurs it acts like a stroke, with sudden symptoms of neurological dysfunction.
Other acute care neurosurgery problems are also treated by our neurosurgery team, including ventriculo-peritoneal shunt failures, severe spinal cord compression from tumors and disc herniations, infections of the brain and spine, hemorrhage in the spine, rapid decline in brain function from tumors, cerebral aneurysm ruptures, pituitary gland strokes and hemorrhages, severe unremitting pain from degenerative spine disease, and others.