Claire J. Creutzfeldt MD

University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center

Dr. Claire Creutzfeldt is a board-certified Vascular Neurologist with post-graduate palliative care training at the UW/Harborview Medical Center, the only comprehensive stroke center in a 5-state area (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). Her NIH/NINDS K23 funded research focuses on improving the care for patients with severe acute brain injury, which includes patients with moderate to severe ischemic stroke, intra-parenchymal hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and developing and testing family support interventions. At Harborview Medical Center, a level-1 trauma center, they take care of the most severely affected trauma and stroke victims in the region. The research questions that she addresses come straight from her experience at the bedside of these patients and are inspired by the questions that she struggles with as she provides care to patients and their family members.
High quality health care for patients with serious illness integrates life-prolonging treatments with simultaneous palliative care. Importantly, palliative care is not only care for the dying, but is much broader. Palliative care aims to relieve suffering, enhance patient and family-centered decision-making, and improve quality of life. There is a paucity of research specific to palliative care needs after severe acute brain injury such as traumatic brain injury and stroke. Dr. Creutzfeldt research and publications have focused on prognosis and palliative care after severe acute brain injury with the goal of reducing suffering and helping patients, families and their health care providers make the treatment decisions that are right for their individual circumstances.