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The potential for developing intracranial hypertension is a complication associated with acute neurologic problems. Increases in intracranial pressure can develop very rapidly into a potentially life-threatening situation. For this reason, early recognition of signs and symptoms associated with increased intracranial pressure and its aggressive management are essential. And because etiologic factors are numerous and diverse, the nurse must draw upon a broad knowledge base as well as a specific knowledge of the individual.

  • Agenda

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The material is organized around the following categories:

  • Introduction
  • Cerebral Volume
  • Compensation Mechanisms
  • Assessment
  • Cushing's Response
  • Invasive Monitoring
  • Nursing Care
  • Diuretics
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hydration
  • Hypoxia And Hypercarbia
  • Interventions To Control Intracranial Pressure
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to prepare the nurse for the care of patients who are at risk of developing intracranial hypertension. The causes and clinical significance of increased intracranial pressure are explained and guidelines for assessment and management are described.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Define intracranial pressure and intercranial hypertension, and the, associated pressure ranges.
  • Identify five clinical conditions that place a person at risk of intracranial hypertension.
  • Explain compensatory mechanisms for intracranial pressures through the Monroe-Kellie hypothesis.
  • Name three early clinical signs that may be associated with a rise in intracranial pressure.
  • Describe four assessment parameters that are specific to elevated intracranial pressure.
  • Describe three types of ICP monitoring devices, including advantages and disadvantages of each.

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