At Siskin Hospital, we understand the uncertainty and fear caused by a traumatic event. By setting realistic goals and working hard to help the patient achieve them, we create a situation where hope thrives and new doors of possibility are opened.
The brain is the command center of the body, constantly issuing instructions and processing information through a complicated web of nerve cells that route messages to specific parts of the brain to regulate functions like breathing, heart rate, behavior, etc. When the brain is injured, the web of nerve cells carrying information is damaged; often changing the way a person thinks, moves, and behaves. Siskin Hospital treats two types of brain injuries: traumatic and non-traumatic. Both types are acquired, meaning they are not inherited, present at birth, nor are the result of brain degeneration.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can either be penetrating, like a gunshot, or non-penetrating, like a blow to the head. Penetrating wounds cause shearing, stretching and rupturing of the brain tissue and are further complicated when fragments of the penetrating object, hair, and bone fragments enter the brain. Non-penetrating wounds are the result of the brain moving within the skull or twisting.
Non-traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen. This type of injury occurs as a result of stroke, heart attack, exposure to toxic materials or airway obstruction. Unlike TBIs, where damage occurs at the point of impact, non-traumatic injuries can affect cells throughout the entire brain.
Each patient is evaluated by a brain injury team operating under the leadership of a physiatrist. Together with the family, professionals in the fields of rehabilitation nursing; speech-language pathology; clinical nutrition; psychology; pastoral care; vocational counseling; case management; and physical, occupational and recreational therapies work with the patient to achieve the best outcome possible.
One of the most important parts of the treatment team is the family. The family is provided with training, professional support, education and counseling and works with the patient's treatment team to provide information about the patient's personality, lifestyle, and hopes.
The goals of the program are specific to each patient and injury, but overall are aimed at restoring, enhancing, and supporting the patient's maximum level of independence. Through inpatient, outpatient, day hospital, sub acute, and vocational rehabilitation programs, Siskin Hospital offers comprehensive rehabilitation at every level of treatment, from initial therapy to returning the patient to the community, school or work.
Components of Care
Because the brain is the body's central control center, brain injuries and the subsequent recovery can be complicated. Our program is designed to address every critical component from preparation to continued treatment in our day hospital or community re-entry programs.
Patients initially focus on relearning daily living skills. The individualized treatment plan is adjusted according to the patient's lifestyle and personal goals. Daily living goals may include nutrition, dressing and personal care, mobility, communication, problem solving, vision, perception, leisure activities, and returning to work or school. A dietician develops a nutritional plan based on personal preference and medical, texture, and religious restrictions. A speech-language pathologist provides evaluation and treatment of chewing, swallowing and speech disorders. The treatment team also identifies adaptive devices that are needed.
Because brain injury can affect normal functioning of muscles, therapists provide intervention to prevent further muscle damage. Therapists move the patient's body in ways that provide therapeutic benefits working to restore posture, muscle function, coordination, and balance.
Every clinician integrates a number of techniques into therapy to improve the patient's thinking, reasoning, memory, communication, understanding and problem solving, but speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and psychologists are the clinicians most involved in this process.
An occupational therapist assesses the patient's visual skills and will teach ways to improve this function. This can be accomplished with additional lighting, magnification, and practice.
Therapeutic recreation specialists use leisure activities to enhance the patient's physical endurance and stamina while returning them to a familiar lifestyle.
To return to community living, patients participate in planned outings, using their newly acquired adaptive equipment, to confront obstacles in the community and learn strategies to overcome these barriers.
The Brain Injury Unit
The new Brain Injury Unit at Siskin Hospital is a newly designed, state-of-the-art unit featuring 10 private rooms specializing in the care and rehabilitation of brain injury patients.
|View a Patient Room in the Brain Injury Unit|
The Unit Features: