MEDICAL DIRECTOR ACUTE NEUROLOGY AND EARLY REHABILITATION
Prof. Dr. med. Anastasios Chatzikonstantinou
Medical Director Acute Neurology and Early Rehabilitation
Early neurological rehabilitation is defined as the earliest possible combination of acute and rehabilitation treatment in a hospital, combining intensive treatment with medical and therapeutic means as well as activating and stimulating care. The goal is to recover basic functions such as stabilization, consciousness/awareness, communication abilities, and swallowing. Further recovery goals include mobility, cognition, coordination, sensibility, and the ability to execute activities of daily living.
At Kliniken Schmieder, close attention is paid to early rehabilitation, which is aimed at restoring the functionality of the patient’s body, as well as preventing the development of disability.
Our specialists develop an individual rehabilitation treatment program for each patient. Only in this way can positive results be obtained, even in the most severe, almost hopeless cases.
Early neurological rehabilitation is the earliest phase of neurological rehabilitation, designed for the most severely impacted patients. It is intended to prevent illness-related limitations and impending disabilities with measures that start immediately after the acute care treatment has been completed and the patient is stable. Patients who are usually admitted from intensive care units have a Barthel Index Score below 25. They depend entirely on third-party help and often suffer from a disorder of consciousness, e.g., coma, vegetative state, or minimally conscious state. The Barthel Index (values from 0 to 100) is an internationally recognized assessment and evaluation tool to determine how well a person can still care for themselves daily.
Early neurological rehabilitation at Kliniken Schmieder developed 25 years ago and has been continuously developed ever since. Our strong scientific background and numerous international cooperation enable us to deliver our patients the highest quality of care.
The strength of early neurological rehabilitation lies in the temporal proximity to the acute event. Research has shown that the earlier patients start rehabilitation, the higher the possibility of a partial or full recovery from the effects of, e.g., a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or a critical illness polyneuropathy.
Among the main reasons why our experts recommend starting rehabilitation treatment as early as possible:
Early neurological rehabilitation usually starts when patients are unconscious or have impaired consciousness or other severe functional limitations. It is performed, for example, for patients with the following symptoms:
and many others.
Early rehabilitation treatment at Kliniken Schmieder can start once the acute treatment is completed. That means the patient:
At Kliniken Schmieder, every rehabilitation treatment starts with the so-called “assessment process.” Schmieder has developed this approach, and it has been used since 2009. In addition to the treatment (medicine, therapy, and nursing care), our interdisciplinary team uses the first two to four weeks to carry out a thorough clinical examination and diagnostics (e.g., electrophysiology, imaging, lab test, etc.) along with a review and adjustment of medication as well as an evaluation of deficits, the determination of a prognosis and the definition of the main focus of therapy. It also is used to identify potential complicating and risk factors. Based on the assessment result, the treatment process is adjusted to fit the individual needs of our patients.
During the early rehabilitation, a multidisciplinary and multi-professional team of doctors, psychologists, nurses, and therapists closely monitors all indicators of the patient’s health and, if necessary, corrects the applied restorative measures.
Among the most relevant and popular methods of rehabilitation in the phase of early rehabilitation are:
Early rehabilitation lasts for different lengths of time, depending on the patient’s diagnosis and progress. On average, patients in Germany spend 60 days in early rehabilitation before: