There can be numerous complications associated with raised ICP. It can lead to gait problems, permanent neurological deficits and disability, limb contractures and pressure ulcers due to immobility, seizures, stroke, coma and death if early interventions are not taken.The prognosis of patients is highly dependent on the severity of the injury and how early and effectively ICP was controlled thus limiting the number and severity of complications.
Increased ICP is a devastating condition, caused by numerous etiologies, which disrupts the normal brain function and regulatory mechanisms leading to decreased cerebral perfusion and permanent brain damage. It requires early intervention and effective nursing care to improve the prognosis and outcome of patients.
Nurses play an important and extremely crucial role in the management of patients with raised ICP. It has been shown that effective nursing care and interventions can significantly improve the outcomes of patients with raised ICP (Davenport-Fortune P, 1985) (BL., 1990). Nurses are responsible for keeping an eye on the ICP and cardiac monitors and record the vital signs of the patient. In order to maintain ICP, they can take general measures like head elevation, increasing ventilation and reducing the room temperature. They should also regularly check the patency of endotracheal tube. Nurses are also responsible for changing the position of the patients frequently in order to avoid pressure ulcers from developing. They also play a role in early mobilization and regular limb exercises of patients with disability to avoid development of contractures (Suadoni, 2009).
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