Intracranial Pressure (ICP)

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1) What is ICP?

 

 

 

 

 

2) What are the 3 things inside the skull that affect ICP?

 

3) If one or more of those things increase and the body can’t compensate by reducing one of the others, then the ICP will increase. Identify the most common cause of ICP, and list its 3 subtypes.

 

 

4) Almost everyone knows that dilated and fixed pupils are a sign of ICP. This means that the pupils are big, and stay big even when you shine a light into them. But did you know that this is a very late sign of ICP?  As a nurse, if you’re only noticing s/sx of ICP at that point, then either the ICP progressed very rapidly, or you’d better have some good malpractice insurance! Most test questions are going to want you to know how to catch ICP early. So what are some earlier signs of ICP that you should be assessing for?

    • Early signs of ICP

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    • Variable signs of ICP (sometimes early, sometimes late, sometimes never!)

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    • Late signs of ICP

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  1. Elevated ICP is a better nunsirg diagnosis than CSF build up. Try Risk for injury R/T Increased ICP m/b hydrocephalus . Think about how increased pressure inside a cranium will affect brain function. (I want you to be actively involved in this. It’s YOUR care plan, not mine) You may already know that when ICP increases, you lower the head of the bed. You would also monitor ICP, perhaps with an intraventricular catheter. That’s one way to do it. You notify the doctor if pressure exceeds parameters set by the physician. Do neuro and vascular checks. Monitor for infection and bleeding. Maybe you’ll think of one or two more to add to this.

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