ATI MedSurg Ch 15 Head Injury

  1. T/F Skull fractures are rarely accompanied by brain injury.
    F; often
  2. Besides the actual impact from the skull fracture, what else is damage to the brain tissue a result of?
    Decreased oxygen
  3. With skull fracture, ___ levels are negatively affected in the brain, resulting in alteration in neurological synaptic ability.
  4. List the 3 types of head injury-related hemorrhages.
    • epidural
    • subdural
    • intracerebral
  5. Any collection of fluid, or foreign objects, that occupies the space w/in the skull consequently poses a risk for what 3 things?
    • cerebral edema
    • cerebral hypoxia
    • brain herniation
  6. What should always be suspected when a head injury occurs?
    cervical spine injury
  7. List 3 things that may indicate head injury.
    • presence of alcohol/drugs
    • amnesia
    • loss of consciousness
  8. List 8 signs of increased intracranial pressure.
    • severe headache
    • deteriorating level of consciousness, restlessness, irritability
    • dilated/pinpoint pupils, slow/nonreactive
    • altered breathing battern
    • deterioration in motor function, abnormal posture
    • cushing reflex
    • crebrospinal fluid leakage from nose/ears
    • seizures
  9. Decerebrate posture
    An abnormal body posture that involves the arms and legs being held straight out, the toes being pointed downward, and the head and neck being arched backwards
  10. Decorticate posture
    A person is stiff with bent arms, clenched fists, and legs held out straight; the arms are bent in toward the body and the wrists and fingers are bent and held on the chest
  11. Cushing reflex
    Late sign of increased intracranial pressure characterized by severe HTN w/ widening pulse pressure, and bradycardia
  12. "halo" sign
    Yellow stain surrounded by blood on paper towel from cerebrospinal fluid leakage; tests positive for glucose
  13. There is a ___ hr "golden window" for treatment of head injuries.
  14. Emergency treatment provided during the 1 hr "golden window" is especially effective for ___.
    epidural hematomas
  15. What is the PRIORITY assessment with head injuries?
    Respiratory status
  16. The brain is dependent on oxygen to maintain function and has little reserve available if oxygen is deprived. Brain function begins to diminish after ___ minutes of oxygen deprivation.
  17. Besides respiratory function, list 6 other assessments.
    • cranial nerve function
    • pupillary changes
    • signs of infection
    • sensory and/or motor responses if spinal injury present
    • changes in LOC
    • ICP
  18. What is a sign of infection commonly associated with meningitis?
    nuchal rigidity
  19. Nuchal rigidity
    neck stiffness
  20. In brain injury, when assessing for changes in LOC, use the ___, which provides the earliest indication of neurological deterioration.
  21. What is the expected reference range for ICP level?
    10-15 mmHg
  22. List 7 things that may increase ICP.
    • hypercarbia
    • endo/oral trach suctioning
    • coughing
    • forceful nose blowing
    • extreme neck/hip flexion/extension
    • maintaining HOB <30 degrees
    • increasing intraabdominal pressure
  23. Hypercarbia increases ICP by causing ___.
    cerebral vasodilation
  24. List 2 things that increase intraabdominal pressure.
    • restrictive clothes
    • Valsalva maneuver
  25. List 12 ways to decrease ICP.
    • elevate head
    • avoid extreme flexion, extension, rotation of head and maintain body in midline neutral position w/ HOB at 30 degrees
    • maintain patent airway
    • administer oxygen to maintain >92
    • hyperventilate to keep PaCO2 b/w 30-35 mmHg
    • maintain cervical spine stability
    • report CSF
    • provide calm, restful environment
    • prevent immobility complications
    • monitor fluid and electrolytes
    • provide adequate fluids to maintain cerebral perfusion
    • maintain safety and seizure precautions
  26. Even if the LOC is decreased in a head injury, explain actions being taken and why b/c ___ is the last sense affected by a head injury.
  27. List 5 meds/classes commonly used in head injuries.
    • corticosteroids
    • mannitol (Osmitrol)
    • pentobarbital (Nembutal)
    • phenytoin (Dilantin)
    • morphine sulfate/fentanyl (Sublimaze)
  28. List 2 common corticosteroids used for head injuries.
    • dexamethasone (Decadron)
    • methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol)
  29. Why are cotricosteroids used for head injury?
    reduce cerebral edema
  30. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in the presence of what 4 disease processes?
    • diabetes mellitus
    • HTN
    • glaucoma
    • renal impairment
  31. What is mannitol and why is it used for head injury?
    osmotic diuretic used to treat cerebral edema
  32. Why is pentobarbital used for head injury?
    to induce barbiturate coma to decrease cerebral metabolic demands
  33. This med is used when the ICP in head injury is refractory to treatment, has exceeded 25 mmHg for 30 min, 30 mmHg for 15 min, or 40 mmHg for 1 min
  34. A barbiturate coma is a treatment of last resort and aims to decrease elevated ICP by inducing ___ and decreasing ___.
    • vasoconstriction
    • cerebral metabolic demands
  35. Treament of increased ICP with pentobarbital continues until the ICP remains below ___ mmHg for ___ hr.
    • 20
    • 48
  36. T/F Pentobarbital for ICP can be abruptly d/c.
    F; slowly withdrawn
  37. Why is phenytoin used for head injury?
    prophylactically to prevent or treat seazires that can occur
  38. What is morphine sulfate/fentanyl and why is it used for head injury?
    analgesic used to control pain and restlessness
  39. Why should opioids be avoided (unless pt on ventilation) for treatment of head injury?
    CNS depressant effect will make neuro assessment difficult
  40. Craniotomy
    removal of nonviable brain tissue that allows for expansion and/or removal of epidural or subdural hematomas
  41. What is a common complication of head injury?
    brain herniation
  42. Brain herniation
    downward shift of brain tissue d/t cerebral edema
  43. What does the Monroe-Kelle doctrine state
    regarding brain herniation, any alteration in the volume of brain matter, CSF, intravascular blood results in compromise in other components
  44. What happens when trauma creates a shift in brain matter, CSF, intravascular blood and other components can't accomodate?
    brain shifts from cranial vault, or herniates
  45. Brain herniation results in brain tissue moving downward, through the ___.
    foramen magnum
  46. List 5 clinical signs of brain herniation.
    • fixed dilated pupils
    • deteriorating LOC
    • Cheyn-Stokes respirations
    • hemodynamic instability
    • abnormal posturing
  47. List 2 things indicated for brain herniation.
    • urgent mannitol
    • surgical debulking
  48. T/F Recovery from brain herniation is quite common.
    False; rare
Card Set
ATI MedSurg Ch 15 Head Injury