Effects of Nursing Interventions on Intracranial Pressure

Authors: Olson DM, McNett MM, Lewis LS, Riemen KE, Bautista C.

Background Intracranial pressure is a frequent target for goal-directed therapy to prevent secondary brain injury. In critical care settings, nurses deliver many interventions to patients having intracranial pressure monitored, yet few data documenting the immediate effect of these interventions on intracranial pressure are available. Objective To examine the relationship between intracranial pressure and specific nursing interventions observed during routine care. Methods Secondary analysis of prospectively collected observational data. Results During 3118 minutes of observation, 11 specific nursing interventions were observed for 28 nurse-patient dyads from 16 hospitals. Family members talking in the room, administering sedatives, and repositioning the patient were associated with a significantly lower intracranial pressure. However, intracranial pressure was sometimes higher, lower, or unchanged after each intervention observed. Conclusion Response of intracranial pressure to nursing interventions is inconsistent. Most interventions were associated with inconsistent changes in intracranial pressure at 1 or 5 minutes after the intervention.

Full text and source: American journal of critical care

Am J Crit Care. 2013 Sep;22(5):431-438.