Nursing interventions can positively or negatively affect intracranial pressure (ICP). Nurses have a unique opportunity to manage patient care in order to decrease elevated ICP and prevent secondary brain injury. However, patients also must be diligently monitored for secondary effects such as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and skin breakdown. It becomes a delicate balance to maintain brain function while helping to prevent other secondary injury.

  • Understand the effect of nursing care on intracranial pressure.

  • Determine ICP reference ranges for each patient as determined by physician orders, underlying pathology, and plan of care.

  • Monitor pulmonary hygiene and the effects of interventions, such as suctioning and patient positioning, on intracranial pressure.

  • Determine a daily interdisciplinary plan of care including individualized daily goals.

  • Initiate nursing consults for skin management and hygiene as indicated by the patient’s condition.

  • Plan nursing care at intervals to allow patients with elevated...

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