Neurotrauma - Helicopter landing with a patient at UM Shock Trauma Center

Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries occur every day as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports and other physical activities.

University of Maryland Medical Center’s neurosurgery team partners with the world renowned R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center to provide surgical interventions and consultation for patients experiencing these injuries.

As the state of Maryland’s designated referral center for head and spinal injuries, the neurotrauma program at Shock Trauma is both a state and national leader when it comes to complex traumatic care and research.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Team approach to care – Nearly 70 percent of the more than 7,000 trauma patients treated each year at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center experience a brain or spine injury, and many of them experience multiple traumatic injuries. To provide these patients with the best, life-saving care, experienced neurosurgeons work hand-in-hand with other trauma specialists, including critical care, orthopedic, oral maxillofacial, plastics/reconstructive and general surgeons.
  • Highly experienced team – Our fellowship-trained neurotrauma and critical care doctors specialize in traumatic brain and spine injuries. Their high level of expertise and frequent exposure to a broad range of injuries, combined with access to state-of-the-art trauma operating rooms and a dedicated Neurotrauma Critical Care Unit, leads to thousands of lives saved – and some of the best outcomes for brain and spinal cord trauma patients nationwide.
  • Access to clinical trials – Neurotrauma neurosurgeons participate in ground-breaking research to improve the future of brain and spinal cord injury care. Our clinical trials portfolio examines everything from investigating new medications to prevent spinal cord swelling to neural stem cells engineered to promote healing of spinal injuries.
  • Consultations – Our neurotrauma specialists at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center are available for consultation and patient referral 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ambulatory patients are evaluated in the outpatient clinic on a scheduled basis.

Advanced Treatment Options

University of Maryland Medical Center's Shock Trauma helicopterUMMC's Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower provides 140,000 square-feet of space designed to care for the region’s most critically ill and injured patients. The tower has nine floors of patient care space, including 64 patient rooms and 10 operating suites. 

Our trauma program is a pioneer in trauma-focused technologies, including: 

  • Hyperbaric medicine – The Center for Hyperbaric Medicine at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is internationally recognized for its leadership and clinical application of hyperbaric therapy. It houses the only multi-place hyperbaric chamber in Maryland and can accommodate up to 23 patients and care providers per session. 
  • Trauma resuscitation – The Trauma Resuscitation Unit (TRU) at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center includes 10 resuscitation bays – each with the capability to resuscitate two patients simultaneously in the event of a mass casualty. Each bay includes a ventilator, pulse oximetry and cardiac and hemodynamic monitoring equipment. Immediately accessible are surgical instruments for everything from tracheostomies to chest tube insertions. 
  • Advanced neurotrauma operating rooms – Surgeons perform both emergency and scheduled surgeries in these state-of-the-art trauma rooms.
  • Neurotrauma Critical Care – To ensure patients receive high-level, multidisciplinary care for their complex conditions, the Neurotrauma Critical Care Unit (NTCC) can care for up to 12 patients, each in separate, glass-enclosed rooms. Monitoring equipment readily available on this unit includes:
    • ECG monitoring
    • Hemodynamic monitoring, such as pulmonary artery catheter pressure, central venous pressure and arterial blood pressure
    • Intracranial pressure monitoring
    • Respiratory volume and pressure monitoring through mechanical ventilators and a glucometer