A dedication ceremony for The Lanny Edelsohn, M.D., Neuro Critical Care Unit (NCCU) Oct. 2 gave donors and other guests an opportunity to greet Dr. Edelsohn, hear about the impact of the new facility on our community and tour the unit, 2D, at Christiana Hospital.
Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Christiana Care Board of Directors member and trustee John Cochran, who spoke of Dr. Edelsohn’s impact as a friend, caregiver and community leader. Timothy Gardner, M.D., FACC, medical director of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health, discussed Christiana Care’s vision for the NCCU and its impact on the community.
“Contemporary stroke care requires immediate, expert treatment both to improve the survival rate of victims and to achieve complete recovery without neurological deficits,” Dr. Gardner said. “The Lanny Edelsohn Neuro Critical Care Unit is a critical enabler for us.”
Dr. Edelsohn served as Christiana Care’s section chief of Neurology from 1987 to 2010. At the ceremony, he reflected on the 40 years of progress in neurology he has witnessed firsthand in the First State.
“Things have changed a lot since my arrival from Boston in 1973,” Dr. Edelsohn said. CT scans were just developing and had not yet appeared in Delaware. The MRI wasn’t invented yet. Brain imaging using dye injected into a carotid artery or air injected into spinal fluid were the existing techniques for imaging. Therapies for patients with MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease were very limited. There were no neuroradiologists.
“Forty years later, the playing field has changed dramatically,” he said. “This incredible neurocritical care unit is staffed by a cadre of bright, young, specialty-trained stroke specialists, neurointensivists and neurointerventionalists.
“I hope none of us ever need this incredible new unit. However, should the need arise, I assure you that you will be receiving state-of-the-art treatment from the talented doctors and nurses who will be by your side.”
The new Neuro Critical Care Unit at Christiana Hospital provides patients their greatest chance of survival through the expert care that is critical to treating serious neurovascular illnesses and injuries. The unit was funded by $1.3 million in contributions from donors, most of whom are Christiana Care trustees. Equipped with the latest in technology, five expert neuro-specialists and several highly specialized nurses, the 18-bed NCCU is the only unit of its kind in Delaware and is solely devoted to patients with immediate life-threatening problems affecting the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. The unit is expected to treat as many as 650 acute-stroke patients in 2013 and every year thereafter.
“The generosity of the donors makes it possible for these very ill patients to receive expert care from fellowship-trained neurocritical-care physicians, as well as our advanced technology. For some patients, it could be the gift of life,” said Valerie E. Dechant, M.D., medical director.
The NCCU is home to cutting-edge continuous electroencephalogram (cEEG) technology for more advanced neuromonitoring — considered fundamental in helping to prevent irreversible neurological damage, severe disability and death. This innovative technology also will improve the evaluation and treatment of seizure disorders for the many patients who rely on Christiana Care for high-quality treatment that is close to home.
Lanny Edelsohn, M.D., joined Christiana Care Health System as a neurology specialist in 1973. He is a board-certified neurologist and a clinical professor of neurology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. He serves on numerous community nonprofit boards. He lectures frequently and has been involved in multiple clinical trials regarding the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. He has a special interest in medical education and has served as the director of neurology education for residents, interns and medical students since 1973. This year Dr. Edelsohn was voted Attending Teacher of the Year by the Jefferson Medical College, Delaware Branch, class of 2013.
Dr. Edelsohn has served Christiana Care in multiple capacities over the years, including leading the initial Stroke Task Force in 2000, a term as president of the Medical-Dental Staff, and many years on the executive committee of the staff and the Board of Directors of Christiana Hospital. Dr. Edelsohn is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed medical training at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. His medical internship was at Hahnemann Medical College Hospital in Philadelphia and his neurology residency was at Harvard Neurology (Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, the Beth Israel and Children’s Hospital Medical Center), Boston.