Neurological Disorders Q 3 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Neurological Disorders Q 3

An 18-year-old client is admitted with a closed head injury sustained in a MVA. His intracranial pressure (ICP) shows an upward trend. Which intervention should the nurse perform first?
     A. Reposition the client to avoid neck flexion.
     B. Administer 1 g Mannitol IV as ordered.
     C. Increase the ventilator’s respiratory rate to 20 breaths/minute.
     D. Administer 100 mg of pentobarbital IV as ordered.

Correct Answer: A. Reposition the client to avoid neck flexion.

The nurse should first attempt nursing interventions, such as repositioning the client to avoid neck flexion, which increases venous return and lowers ICP. Elevate the head of the bed to greater than 30 degrees. Keep the neck midline to facilitate venous drainage from the head. Nursing care must pay close attention to changes in neurologic status, any change in vitals such as an increasingly erratic heart rate, development of bradycardia, accurate and equal intake and output when having diuresis, and maintenance of proper blood pressure.

Option B: Osmotic agents can be used to create an osmotic gradient across blood thereby drawing fluid intravascularly and decreasing cerebral edema. Mannitol was the primary agent used at doses of 0.25 to 1 g/kg body weight and is thought to exert its greatest benefit by decreasing blood viscosity and to a lesser extent by decreasing blood volume. Side effects of mannitol use are eventual osmotic diuresis and dehydration as well as renal injury if serum osmolality exceeds 320 mOsm.
Option C: Hypercarbia lowers serum pH and can increase cerebral blood flow contributing to rising ICP, hence hyperventilation to lower pCO2 to around 30 mm Hg can be transiently used.
Option D: If nursing measures prove ineffective notify the physician, who may prescribe pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is a drug within the barbiturate class that works primarily on the central nervous system. Common off-label uses are for control of intracranial pressure in patients with severe brain injuries, cerebral ischemia, and those receiving treatment for Reye syndrome.

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