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Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center has long been regarded as one of the premier rehabilitation institutions in the United States. The Adult Brain Injury (ABI) Program continues this tradition of excellence by providing coordinated, case managed, acute inpatient rehabilitation services to persons over the age of 18 with traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. These include injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, blunt trauma, gunshot wounds and anoxia, as well as those combined with spinal injury or orthopedic fractures. Since Rancho Los Amigos functions as a safety net provider for Los Angeles County, person with and without funding are eligible for services.

Interdisciplinary Teams

The comprehensive interdisciplinary team is led by a physiatrist or neurologist and is comprised of a registered nurse, case manager, occupational and physical therapists, psychologist, speech-language pathologist, social worker, recreation therapist, and dietician.

On admission, the clinical team works closely with the patient and family to develop goals and plan a program to meet the unique needs of each person served. On average, patients participate in at least 3 hours of therapy, 6 days per week and stay for 2 to 4 weeks. Medical Management by rehabilitation physicians and nursing care are provided 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Based on needs identified through initial and ongoing assessment, other care providers may join the treatment team, including a respiratory therapist, neuro-optometrist, pharmacist, orthotist, prosthetist, and other consulting medical specialists.

Levels of Cognitive Function

The Rancho Levels of Cognitive Function, widely used across the world and regarded by many in the field as an essential tool in assessing individuals with brain injury, was originally developed by speech-language pathologists at Rancho. In addition to cognitive impairments, brain injury survivors frequently experience complex behavioral, psychosocial, vocational, educational and community integration challenges. The interdisciplinary team develops a comprehensive program to address these needs as well as any accompanying chemical use/abuse/dependency and mental health issues.

Medical Progress

The patient’s medical progress is monitored on a daily basis. The attending physician may consult with other specialists as needed, including orthopedic, internal medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, dental, and pressure management. Diagnostic and other studies including MRI, CT, EEG and EMG are available for complete assessment and monitoring. In addition, Rancho is home to the Pathokinesiology Laboratory headed by Dr. Jacquelin Perry, a world renowned expert on gait analysis. Gait patterns and deviations are analyzed using dynamic EMG to help plan for reconstructive surgery or adaptive bracing.

Family Participation and Return to Home and Community

The dedicated professionals in the Adult Brain Injury Program work with survivors of brain injury and their support systems, using the most effective approaches and techniques, to improve quality of life and achieve the most independent levels of functioning, including returning to home and community activities and roles. The ABI Program encourages family members to participate throughout the rehabilitation process. Family involvement in goal setting, therapy and education sessions, family conferences, home visits and community re-integration activities is an integral part of the patient's program.

Outpatient Therapy

After discharge from the inpatient program, patients are seen for follow-up in the Adult Brain Injury Clinic to evaluate their progress and discuss rehabilitation or medical issues. Patients with ongoing needs are referred for continued outpatient therapy or to community providers, as appropriate. In addition to individual and group occupational, physical and speech therapy programs, driver training and vocational programs are available.

Page last updated November 18, 2011
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