70 Butler Street, Salem, NH 03079
Phone: (603) 893-2900 | Fax: (603) 893-1628

Brain Injury

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  • Prevention of medical complications
  • Prevention of disability
  • Early detection of late medical complications of neurological injury
  • Earliest possible transition to home or outpatient-based continuing care
  • Preparation of family/caregivers to assist them in aiding recovery


This program is designed for adolescents and adults who have suffered traumatic brain injury, anoxic brain injury, and non-traumatic insults to brain which are of a generalized nature (for example: metabolic encephalopathy, carbon monoxide poisoning, encephalopathy post status epilepticus).

Program Director

James Whitlock, MD, has served as brain injury rehabilitation program director since 1987. His areas of special interest include recovery from coma and severe brain injury, treatment of spasticity/dystonias, and analysis of rehabilitation outcomes.

Program Features

The NRH Brain Injury Program offers a designated brain injury unit with access to quiet treatment space, ability to accommodate family members who might wish to stay with an adolescent inpatient, a specially designed padded bed within a quiet room to allow avoidance of passive or chemical restraints during periods of agitation and an alarm system on the unit to enhance supervision of patients who are mobile but not yet safe to be independent within the facility. Team members are well-trained in crisis-intervention techniques for safely managing the unique behavioral challenges occasionally encountered in the recovery from brain injury. They also offer expertise in the special problems of traumatic/non-traumatic brain dysfunction.

Inpatient programming is designed to focus upon and remove those issues which stand as barriers to therapy at home or as an outpatient. While the differences between the severely-injured people we work with tend to be great, there are some recurring themes within our program. Upon admission, we attempt to ensure that the physiologic stage is set for recovery. This means attention to nutrition and metabolism, avoidance of medications which are not strongly indicated, address of pain when known or suspected, and vigilance for some of the possible late complications of injury to the nervous system. Therapeutic activities during the acute inpatient stay tend to be focused upon prevention or reversal of contracture, and early attainment of competence in feeding, toileting, mobility, communication and basic self-care. Family involvement is encouraged, with guidance provided regarding how best to be supportive at different levels of interactivity and cognitive ability. Instruction, case management, and identification of relevant community and/or health care resources are used to prepare for transition to non-inpatient rehabilitation.

Specialized medical/surgical consultation is available in such disciplines as general and neuro-ophthalmology, otolaryngology, physiatry, epileptology, and neuropsychology, as needed (see directory).

Last Updated: 03/07/01 | ©2000 Northeast Rehabilitation Health Network