Wesley Healthcare October 01, 2015

Neurocritical care fellowship-trained physician opens life-saving service

in SICU – the only in the region with all board-certified physicians

WICHITA – To improve care and access for patients with life-threatening neurological conditions, Wesley Medical Center recently created a neurocritical care unit within its surgical intensive care unit. The unit was created by Dr. Laxmi Dhakal, MD, a Mayo Clinic-trained physician who completed a fellowship in neurocritical care.


“This will be a great benefit for the community,” Dr. Dhakal said. “With strokes, the more time you lose, the more deficit you’re going to have. This unit here at Wesley – the only neurocritical care unit in the region with all board-certified medical staff – has the potential to save a lot of lives. We are very excited.”


The unit is a 24/7 admitting service, said Dr. Francie Ekengren, MD, Wesley’s chief medical officer. Patients treated in the unit include those with strokes (ischemic and hemorrhage), status epilepticus, brain tumors and sub-arachnoid bleeds.


A steering committee worked for four months with Dr. Dhakal’s input to purchase equipment, find ways to open more beds in the SICU and begin establishing protocols for patient care. Six beds are assigned to the new unit, and there is the potential to add more if necessary, Dr. Ekengren said.


Dr. Fernando Salgado, MD, with Wichita Anesthesiology, has been the interim medical director for the project. He earned his neurocritical care boards through anesthesia and will be part of the physician team with Dr. David Acuna, DO, with Kansas Surgical Consultants, and Dr. Donald Vasquez, DO, with Sooner Trauma Critical Care, both of whom are board-certified surgical critical care physicians.


For more information about Wesley Healthcare and its services, please visit www.wesleymc.com.


Wesley Healthcare is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912.  As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley Medical Center treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region.  Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Wesley Woodlawn ER, the region’s only pediatric ER and soon, Wesley Derby ER.  Wesley owns and operates Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, multiple WesleyCare clinics and is currently building the region’s only dedicated children’s hospital – Wesley Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Wesley Healthcare, please visit www.wesleymc.com.