Acute Brain Injury - A Guide for Family and Friends
The goals of brain injury treatment are to:
Treatments will vary with the type of injury. The doctor will decide which ones are used. Some common treatments are:
Positioning: Usually the head of the bed will be elevated slightly and the neck kept straight. This position may decrease the intracranial pressure by allowing blood and CSF to drain from the brain. Please do not change the position of the bed without asking the nurse.
Fluid Restriction: It may be necessary to limit the fluids that a patient receives. The brain is like a sponge. It swells with extra fluid. Limiting fluids can help control the swelling. Please do not give fluids without asking the nurse.
Medications: There are several types of medications used to treat brain injury. Some of these include:
Ventricular Drain (Ventriculostomy): A small tube is placed in the ventricle. It measures and controls pressure inside the skull. It can be used to drain some CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) from the brain.
Ventilator: A machine used to support the patient in their own breathing, or give the patient breaths. When the ventilator gives extra breaths, the blood vessels in the brain become smaller. This may help control the intracranial pressure.
Surgery: There are three types of surgery used with brain injury: