Initial Assessment and Stabilisation of the Head Trauma Patient

Samantha Bell
Friday, October 2, 2020

Head trauma cases can be a daunting emergency to be faced with. These patients require an efficient and thorough assessment and have specific nursing requirements. In order to achieve a positive outcome, it is therefore important that nurses feel confident in identifying the signs that indicate deterioration and are able to alert the veterinary surgeon to them. It is also vital that nurses know the best way to be prepared for the patient's admission to the practice. The principles of the initial assessment are to triage any life-threatening presenting conditions and limit the effects of the secondary trauma to reduce intracranial pressure. The mainstay of stabilising these patients requires intensive nursing care, intravenous therapy, hyperosmolar therapy and pain management. This article discusses the pathophysiology, initial nursing interventions and considerations for the initial assessment and stabilisation of head trauma cases.

Figure 1 Patients can present with multiple injuries.
Figure 1 Patients can present with multiple injuries.

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