What effects do nursing interventions have on intracranial pressure?
Managing intracranial pressure (ICP) is a vital aspect of care for patients at risk for secondary brain injury. Interventions provided by nurses may adversely effect ICP. In a multi-center study, Olson and colleagues observed nurse-patient dyads to determine the effects that a variety of nursing interventions had on ICP and found the following:
Restricting stimulation, facilitating family conversation with the patient, and draining cerebrospinal fluid were the nursing interventions most commonly employed to manage ICP.
Significantly lower ICP was likely 5 minutes after repositioning the patient, after family was speaking in the room, and after administering sedation/analgesia.
Interventions commonly thought to reduce ICP, such as cerebrospinal fluid drainage or limiting stimulation, may actually have no effect or may raise ICP.
Likewise, interventions typically thought to raise ICP, such as suctioning, may not change or...