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Week 9: Intracranial Pressure & Acute Head Injury

Terms in this set (168)

a specialized type of linear fracture that occurs when the fracture involves the base of the skull. Manifestations can evolve over the course of several hours, vary with the location and severity of fracture, and may include cranial nerve deficits, Battle's sign (postauricular ecchymosis), and periorbital ecchymosis (raccoon eyes).

-This fracture generally is associated with a tear in the dura and subsequent leakage of CSF.
-Rhinorrhea (CSF leakage from the nose) or otorrhea (CSF leakage from the ear) generally confirms that the fracture has traversed the dura. Rhinorrhea may also manifest as postnasal sinus drainage. The significance of rhinorrhea may be overlooked unless the patient is specifically assessed for this finding. The risk of meningitis is high with a CSF leak, and antibiotics should be administered to prevent the development of meningitis.
-Two methods of testing can be used to determine whether the fluid leaking from the nose or ear is CSF. The first method is to test the leaking fluid with a Dextrostix or Tes-Tape strip to determine whether glucose is present. CSF gives a positive reading for glucose.
-If blood is present in the fluid, testing for the presence of glucose is unreliable because blood also contains glucose. In this event, look for the halo or ring sign. To perform this test, allow the leaking fluid to drip onto a white gauze pad (4 × 4) or towel, and then observe the drainage. Within a few minutes, the blood coalesces into the center, and a yellowish ring encircles the blood if CSF is present.
-Note the color, appearance, and amount of leaking fluid because both tests can give false-positive results.


-Classic injury; survivable
-Causes issues with their sinuses causing rhinorrhea and otorrea (drainage of CSF from nose or ear)
-If we know there is a break between brain and sinus; at high risk for infection
-Would not want to put an NG tube in (would probably put in an OG tube instead