Neurocritical care has evolved over the past 20 years in parallel with the growth of critical care medicine and the stunning developments in the fields of neurology and neurosurgery. Although clinical trials are needed, there is preliminary evidence that induced hypertension and hypothermia can improve outcomes. The optimal threshold for transfusion of red cells remains unknown in patients with ischemic stroke and similarly further studies are needed to examine glycemic control and identify which patients may benefit most from aggressive insulin therapy. Finally, optimization of medical treatment is key in the care of the stroke patient and we should be cautious when prognosticating early in the setting of acute stroke and be aware of the potential effect ‘do not resuscitate’ status may have on patient outcome.
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