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Critical Care Neurology

Contact number | 202-476-2120

Pediatric critical care neurology, also referred to as neurocritical care, focuses on protecting and treating the brains of critically ill and injured children.

At Children’s National Hospital, we provide advanced and compassionate neurocritical care to children from newborns to young adults. Our program has expertise in treating acute brain injury, from the Emergency Department to the Neurocritical Care Unit (also known as the Neuro ICU) and through rehabilitation and beyond.

Why Choose Us

Children’s National is one of only a handful of centers in the nation to offer pediatric neurocritical care, and we’re the only such program in the Washington, D.C., area.

Features of the Critical Care Neurology program at Children’s National include:

  • Responsive, continuous care. Our Neurocritical Care Unit has advanced technology and monitoring capabilities that allow us to accurately diagnose and assess your child’s condition at every stage of his or her stay with us.
  • Family resources and support. We understand that being in an intensive care unit is an emotional and scary time, for the patient and their family. We offer support services for families to help you cope with social, educational and emotional difficulties.
  • Dedicated follow-up clinics. Children’s National offers a follow-up program to provide comprehensive care even after your child has left the ICU. Our outpatient programs include an Intensive Care Unit Follow-up Clinic, a Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disorders Clinic, and the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Program, among others.
  • Finding better treatments through research. Our team is leading research studies and collaborating with other centers to advance the field of and provide your child with the best pediatric neurocritical care available. We are passionate about finding better treatments for children with neurologic disorders.

At Children’s National, pediatric critical care neurology is provided by our Critical Care Neurology team in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (Cardiac ICU) and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

We also offer a dedicated Neonatal Neurocritical Care Program through our nationally top-ranked Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Conditions We Treat

Neurologic conditions we care for include:

  • Recovery from neurosurgery
  • Arterial ischemic stroke
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, including arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (CSVT)
  • Encephalitis/meningitis
  • Status epilepticus, including febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Anoxic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neuromuscular emergencies, including infantile botulism and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)
  • Neurological complications of critical illness 

Highly Specialized Care Team

Neurocritical care requires the expertise of many highly specialized pediatric professionals working together to provide comprehensive and individualized care for your child. Our team at Children’s National includes:

Contact Us

For more information, call us at 202-476-2120.

Bella's Story

Epilepsy and Seizure

Bella claps her hands while wearing pink eyeglasses and a red hair bow

In the first weeks of life, Bella underwent a series of procedures that her doctors and family agreed were necessary to end constant seizures from hemimegalencephaly (HME), a rare brain disorder in which one half of the brain grows abnormal and large and misbehaves by triggering repeated difficult seizures.

Bella's Story

Critical Care Neurology Team

  • Dana Harrar

    Dana Harrar
    Director, Pediatric Stroke Program
    Co-Director, Critical Care Neurology

  • Juma Mbwana

    Juma Mbwana
    Director, Neuroscience Medical Unit

  • Paola Pergami

    Paola Pergami

  • Arnold Sansevere

    Arnold Sansevere JR
    Director, Critical Care EEG Monitoring
    Co-Director, Critical Care Neurology

  • Sarah Schlatterer

    Sarah Schlatterer
    Director, Neurocardiac Critical Care
    Prenatal and Neonatal Neurologist

  • Jeffrey Strelzik

    Jeffrey Strelzik
    Associate Director, Child Neurology Fellowship Program
    Director, Headache Infusion Program
    Medical Director, Neurology Education

  • Elizabeth Wells

    Elizabeth Wells
    Senior Vice President, Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine

  • Katelyn Staso

    Katelyn Staso
    Critical Care Nurse Practitioner