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Chin Med J (Engl). 2013;126(18):3422-6.

An overview of neurocritical care in China: a nationwide survey.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053, China (Email: suyingying@xwh.ccmu.edu.cn).



Little quantitative evidence was available regarding the development of NICUs in China. The purpose of this survey was to evaluate the current situation of neurointensive care units (NICUs) across China.


The directors of NICUs from 100 tertiary care hospitals across China were contacted and asked to complete a closed response questionnaire regarding their NICUs. Basic information, equipment, and technology information available in the units, as well as staffing information were investigated.


Seventy-six questionnaires were returned (a 68% response rate). Of 76 NICUs, 43 units constituted the majority. The number of each NICU bed varied from 4 to 45, occupying 2%-30% of the total department beds. Over 70% of NICUs were equipped with many emergency treatment equipments as well as physiological and biochemical monitoring equipments, while 34%-70% of NICUs still lacked some kinds of equipments such as defibrillators. Some specialist equipments were still partially lacking in 62%-95% of NICUs. A vast majority of the NICUs were equipped with neurocritical care directors, full-time attending physicians, and head nurses, but full-time NICU residents and neurocritical care nurses were still lacking in nearly half (53%) and one-third (33%-37%) of NICUs, respectively. In 76 NICUs, full-time neurointensivists and nurses added up to 359 and 852, respectively. In addition, 78%-97% of all the surveyed NICUs were severely short of non-neurological professional staffs.


In China, neurocritical care has developed rapidly, but there is still a shortage of well-equipped and well-staffed NICUs across the nation currently.

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