Our ability to care for high-acuity patients like some of those featured in the case reports in this issue of the Barrow Quarterly has been greatly enhanced by the opening of our new Neuroscience Tower on July 9. The 430,000 square feet of this new tower include 64 intensive care and 80 acute care beds. These additional 144 beds, solely dedicated to the care of patients with neurological and neurosurgical conditions, have made our medical center the largest in the state of Arizona.
The building includes 11 state-of-the-art surgical suites and two new diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners (1.5 and 3 Tesla). It is the only facility in the world with an intraoperative 3 Tesla MRI scanner. All of the surgical suites have access to this scanner, which will enable surgeons to view crucial images of the brain during surgery and to make intraoperative adjustments that could avoid potentially devastating complications. This capability also eliminates the need to transport critically ill patients, and the time saved translates into improved patient care.
All surgical suites are also equipped with a videoconferencing system that allows observers from around the world to watch a procedure. The system even allows observers to see what the surgeon sees through the surgical microscope. One of the new surgical suites can be cooled to 55 degrees in just three minutes—a feature that helps slow a patient’s metabolism, which is critical during cardiac standstill procedures. A large plasma screen at the neurosurgery nurses’ station provides a clear view of each surgical suite.
Patients and their families will appreciate the roomy, well-appointed private suites, which make the stay for both more comfortable. The rooms house the most up-to-date monitoring equipment to help insure the continuity of patients’ care after surgery. Monitoring panels outside the private suites on the intensive care unit provide the most critically ill patients continuous nursing observation as needed.
This tower, now the pride of Barrow, is the fruition of the dream and efforts of countless individuals—community supporters and generous donors, dedicated physicians and nurses, administrators and support staff. It is a world-class facility with few if any rivals. And although we are justifiably proud of the building, we are humbled by the commitment and care that it represents—all to insure that patients with neurological diseases and disorders receive the best possible care in the hope of achieving the best possible outcomes. Please consider sharing in this dream by using the enclosed self-addressed and stamped envelope to send a tax-deductible donation to help maintain our mission of medical education. Working together, we all make a difference.
Robert F. Spetzler, MD