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How is pressure on the brain monitored after a brain injury?

One of the issues that some people face after they suffer from a brain injury is intracranial pressure. Intracranial pressure is pressure within the skull. That pressure compresses the brain. It is vital that intracranial pressure is monitored when it is present because too much pressure on the brain can be fatal.

How is intracranial pressure monitored?

Intracranial pressure is monitored using a device that is placed inside the head. The device sends readings to a recording device. Health care professionals can use that information to determine if there is an intervention necessary.

What types of devices are used?

There are three devices that are used: subdural screw, epidural sensor and intraventricular catheter. These devices are all put into place via a surgical procedure. The epidural sensor can monitor pressure, but can't relieve excess pressure. The subdural screw is used if an immediate reading is needed. The intraventricular catheter can monitor pressure and can relieve the pressure, but is often difficult to place when the pressure is too high.

What are the dangers of high intracranial pressure?

Normal intracranial pressure is 1 to 20 millimeters of mercury. Anything above that range is considered high. High intracranial pressure can lead to permanent brain damage. In some cases, it is fatal.

When you suffer a brain injury, many of the tests you must undergo, including intracranial pressure testing, are invasive. They are also costly. You might opt to seek compensation to help to defray the costs of the medical care that is necessary following a brain injury that was the result of someone else's negligence.

Source: MedlinePlus, "Intracranial pressure monitoring," accessed Dec. 09, 2015

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