Our Traumatic Brain Injury Team

At the OHSU Brain Institute, we provide advanced care for people with injuries to the brain, spine and spinal cord. Our traumatic brain injury experts work closely with OHSU's emergency physicians, neurosurgeons, trauma service and the neurosciences critical care team.

Emergency physicians

The doctors and nurses in the OHSU and Doernbecher Children's Hospital Emergency Department care for adults and children from Portland and throughout the region.

Our emergency specialists offer excellent care for traumatic brain injuries. They also are there to comfort and reassure you and explain the care they are providing and how it can help.

The expertise of our emergency department team is unmatched in the Portland metro area and the state.


OHSU's Department of Neurological Surgery provides diagnosis, consultation and surgical treatment for brain, spine, chronic pain, movement and nervous system disorders.

Our nationally recognized neurological programs and centers offer comprehensive clinical and surgical services that are available nowhere else in Oregon.

Trauma service

Our trauma surgeons partner with their extremely capable colleagues in OHSU’s departments of emergency medicine, radiology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and plastic surgery to offer the most comprehensive care in the region. Meet OHSU's trauma team.

Many of our trauma patients are critically injured. OHSU often treats patients who are transferred from other trauma centers to receive the high level of care we offer.

Neurosciences critical care

OHSU's Neurosciences Critical Care Program takes a multidisciplinary approach to acute neurocritical care. This is short-term intensive care for patients with life-threatening traumatic injuries.

Our highly trained specialists work together to care for people with the most serious injuries. We partner with OHSU's departments of neurology, neurological surgery, anesthesiology and peri-operative medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine and neuro-interventional radiology as well as the OHSU Stroke Center.

In addition to specially trained physicians and surgeons, our team includes:

  • Nurses trained in neuro-injury
  • Physician assistants
  • Pharmacists, nutritionists and physical therapists
  • Social workers, a case manager and palliative care experts

By joining forces, we are able to provide excellent patient care and a unique educational and training environment.

Pediatric critical care

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital is specially equipped to provide care to critically ill or injured pediatric patients from birth to young adulthood. The PICU team cares for children with a wide range of disorders, including traumatic brain injuries.

Board certified pediatric intensivists staff the PICU 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They collaborate with many medical and surgical services to provide comprehensive care to critically ill children. The PICU intensivists also direct the transport of critically ill children to our unit from other hospitals in Oregon, Washington and the surrounding states.

Pediatric intensive care nurses are specially trained to provide state-of-the-art care to infants, children and adolescent patients who require the highest level of medical or post-surgical nursing care.

The PICU team also includes other personnel who have advanced training in caring for critically ill children and their families, including:

  • Respiratory therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Pharmacologists
  • Speech therapists, physical therapists and occupational therapists
  • Social workers and child life specialists
  • Hospital aides and health unit coordinators

The PICU is committed to caring for critically ill or injured children and their families in a family-centered care environment.

Concussion management

The most common head injury in sports is concussion. Management of concussion, including determination of when an athlete should return to play, is an area that our OHSU Sports medicine physicians specialize in.

Learn more about concussion management

OHSU's level 1 trauma center

The OHSU trauma service and our neurosciences critical care unit teams work closely together to provide comprehensive 24-hour care for people with severe injuries caused by trauma.

We manage care for patients with injuries that affect more than one body part or system. For example, patients who have been involved in a serious accident often have both head and spinal cord trauma.

The Oregon Department of Human Services has designated OHSU as a level 1 trauma center, the highest ranking a trauma center can receive. Because we meet the strict standards set by this agency, we are able to provide tertiary trauma care (care that requires highly skilled specialists and advanced technology). We provide care for every phase of severe traumatic injuries, from prevention to rehabilitation.

As the region's only academic healthcare facility with a level 1 trauma center in Oregon, OHSU provides the most advanced care for severely injured people throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Our pediatric traumatic brain injury team

OHSU's Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery handles acute (short-term), surgical and follow-up care for infants and children's brain, spine and peripheral nerve (nerves connecting your brain and spine to other parts of your body) injuries.

Doernbecher Children's Hospital and OHSU, including the Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, took the lead in creating national guidelines for clinical care of children with head injuries. These guidelines have been published as "Guidelines for the Acute Medical Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury in Infants, Children and Adolescents," and appeared in the medical journal Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, a publication of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

PANDA transport

The Pediatric and Neonatal Doernbecher Transport Team (PANDA) provides pediatric critical care transport by ground or air from anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. The team's trained nurses and respiratory therapists link critically ill infants and children with Doernbecher's neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and other local hospitals.

Our Neurosciences critical care team

The Neurosciences Critical Care Program partners with other OHSU specialists and departments. That allows us to offer the highest quality care to patients with life-threatening neurological (nervous system) injuries or illnesses. The OHSU Neuroscience Critical Care team includes:

Department of Neurology

Department of Neurological Surgery

Anesthesiology and Peri-operative Medicine

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Oregon Stroke Center

NeuroInterventional radiology