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Cerebral spinal fluid, Intracranial pressure, Intensive care unit



  1. Josephson, Linda RN, BSN, CCRN


Brain edema and the resulting increase in intracranial pressure may be the result of several conditions: head trauma, intracranial hemorrhage, embolic stroke, infections, tumors, and alterations in cerebral spinal fluid production or absorption. At times, these patients may be treated outside of the neurological intensive care unit (ICU) for a variety of reasons. Therefore, general critical care nurses may find themselves in the position of caring for these patients. Maintaining expertise outside of one's area of focus is increasingly difficult to do, and the non-neuro critical care nurse may be unfamiliar with some of the newer research findings and trends in treating these patients. The purpose of this article is to review several of the concepts of neurological care and to update critical care nurses in various newer approaches to caring for patients with increased intracranial pressure.