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Neurocritical Care

The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a national leader in the care of neurocritical conditions.

Neurocritical Care

We staff more neurointensivists (medical doctors specializing in critically ill neurological/neurosurgical patients) than any other hospital in East Tennessee. Our state-of-the-art unit design provides the highest level of care for patients and their families. 

Our Services 

The neurocritical care unit treats a range of disorders, including: 

  • Stroke
  • Brain Tumors
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Nerve and Muscle Problems
  • Brain Infections, such as encephalitis and meningitis
  • Persistent Seizures
  • Brain Swelling

Our Elite Neurocritical Care Team 

Our multidisciplinary medical staff has extensive training in caring for patients with injuries and diseases of the brain and spine. 


The team is led by neurointensivists, fellowship-trained medical doctors who manage critically ill neurological and neurosurgical patients. The medical center has more neurointensivists than any other hospital in East Tennessee, creating an unparalleled standard of care for our patients. 

Advanced Practitioners

Each neurointensivist is supported by a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant and a pharmacist who have attained (at a minimum) a master’s degree, along with advanced training in neurological care.

Unit Staff

The neurocritical care unit is additionally staffed by a team of RNs with extensive initial and ongoing cerebrovascular training.

In addition to the physicians, advanced practitioners, and RNs, there is a multidisciplinary team that ensures the very complex needs of these patients are met.

  • A dedicated stroke team that responds to Code Stroke 24/7 to ensure rapid evaluation and treatment of patients
  • Neurointerventional radiologists
  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

A Demonstrated Track Record in Stroke Care

The medical center has a demonstrated track record of quality care for stroke patients:

  • Certified as a stroke center by The Joint Commission since 2005
  • Achieved the highest level of certification as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in March 2013
  • One of fewer than 200 Comprehensive Stroke Centers certified by The Joint Commission in the United States
  • The Joint Commission recognized our ongoing educational process as a best practice
  • Recognized annually for quality and performance at the highest level by the American Stroke Association since 2011
  • Our team consistently outperforms peer/comparison groups in a set of 20 Joint Commission quality and performance measures

Stroke Centers are recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized neurological care.

The care doesn’t end when a stroke patient is discharged from the hospital. Stroke Center nurse practitioners and physician assistants conduct follow-up assessments at seven days and 90 days for the most complex stroke patients discharged to home. To ensure continued opportunity for optimal recovery, a stroke follow-up clinic has been established at the medical center’s University Neurology Cole Neuroscience Center.

State-of-the-Art Unit Design 

A multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and facilities experts designed the Neurocritical Care Unit to meet the complex needs of our neurocritical patients and their families.

The 16-bed unit was built to optimize healing in our patients, while reducing stress in the families and staff. Thoughtful design gives the medical team unprecedented access to patients, with one simple change: Patients’ beds are positioned away from the wall so that staff members can move around them 360 degrees. Cords — both electrical and therapeutic — no longer clutter the floor. Instead, they run from a moveable boom system, which is suspended from the ceiling, and holds the computers and medical equipment needed for customized treatment of each patient.

Every room has a patient lift to patients from injury while minimizing physical stress on caregivers. Windows in the patient rooms have built-in shades to maintain patient privacy — but they also create a beautiful, relaxing environment, shown by the latest studies to promote healing and well-being.

In the center of the unit, a meeting area with a large monitor allows the medical team to collaborate on patient cases, while keeping them close to the patients, families and other team members. There is also a portable X-ray machine with a processing station to give all team members fast access to X-rays.

Other amenities promote the health and well-being of the staff, enabling them to provide the best care possible for patients and their families.

These include:

  • Individual workspaces for focused work
  • Centrally located supply, nourishment and medicine rooms, which are duplicated on both ends of the unit to improve efficiency and streamline workflow
  • A respite room where team members can meditate and relax
  • A an area for breastfeeding mothers to pump privately

Our elite team of neurocritical caregivers leads the nation in neurocritical care. 

Contact Info
1924 Alcoa Highway
Box 52
Knoxville, TN, 37920

Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm

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