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...

You do not currently have access to this content.