Patients with TBI require frequent evaluations and diagnostic tests, such as:
- Neurological Exam – which consists of simple questions and commands aimed at assessing if the patient can open his/her eyes, speak, and understand
- X-ray – to determine whether or not any bones are broken or fractured and assess the status of the lungs.
- CT Scan – a sophisticated X-ray that images the brain and other body parts
- MRI – another type of sophisticated X-ray that images the tissues of the body
- Angiogram – which enables the blood vessels in the brain to be examined to determine if they have ruptured or are in spasm.
- ICP Monitor – a small tube inserted through a small hole in the skull to measure the pressure inside the brain, called the intracranial pressure
- EEG – a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain.
FIGURE 2.2 – Medical equipment associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Patients with TBI, particularly in the critical care stage, may require specialized medical equipment such as:
- Ventilator–used to mechanically allow a patient who is physically unable, to move air in an out of the lungs.
- Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) – fluid located around and inside the brain and spinal cord. This fluid is drained to prevent swelling.
- Intracranial Pressure Monitor (ICP)- used to prevent further injury to the brain by monitoring the amount of intracranial pressure inside the skull and brain. A small tube is placed into or just on top of the brain through a small hole in the skull.
- Nasogastric Tube (NG Tube)–tube inserted through the nose, to the stomach for the purposes of removing air and digestive juices from the stomach as well as feeding, and administering drugs and other agents.
- Endotracheal and Tracheal Tube (Trache) – used to maintain the patient’s airway open and to deliver oxygen to the lungs.
- Intravenous Line (IV)- used to deliver fluid, nutrients and medication to the body. A line can be inserted into veins in almost any part of the (Source: Toral Family Foundation)
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