Neurocritical Care in Developing Countries

Abstract Neurocritical illness heavily burdens the developing world. In spite of a lack of resources for population-based health in most developing countries, there is an increasing demand for resource-intense strategies for acute neurological care. Factors including rising individual incomes in emerging economies, need for neurointensive care in humanitarian emergencies, growth of private hospitals, the rising burden of noncommunicable disease, and the practice of neurocritical care by specialists outside of neurology are discussed. Possible steps to improve the global practice of neurocritical care include: (1) emphasis on prevention of neurocritical illness through traffic safety and adequate outpatient treatment; (2) standardization of training requirements and skill sets; (3) guidelines on cost-effective measures including medications, equipment, and devices; (4) strengthening of surveillance systems and registries for both noncommunicable and communicable neurological diseases; (5) expanded use of teleneurology; (6) educational exchanges of neurointensive health care workers; and (7) monitoring of neurological intensive care unit death rates due to nosocomial infections, neurological disease, and other causes. A summary of reported mortality rates among neurocritically ill patients in African countries in recent years is provided as an illustrative example.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Neurocritical Care Worldwide
  • Pages 1-6
  • DOI 10.1007/s12028-011-9623-7
  • Authors
    • Farrah J. Mateen, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Johns Hopkins University, Pathology Building, Room 627, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA


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