|Critical Care Nursing: Synergy for Optimal Outcomes
Roberta Kaplow and Sonya R. Hardin
Synergy Aspects of the Case Studies
Chapter 4: Pain Issues in the ICU
At this time, the patient is demonstrating low levels of resiliency. This is likely to remain the case given that diffuse axonal injury is a frequent cause of persistent vegetative state in patients.
This patient has a high level of vulnerability. He has slight diffuse cerebral edema and a diffuse axonal injury. Diffuse axonal injury is a frequent cause of persistent vegetative state in patients. With this condition, damage occurs over a widespread area than in focal brain injury. It is also the most significant cause of complications in patients with traumatic brain injuries. His Glasgow Coma Scale score is low.
At this time, the patient has low levels of stability. In addition to his serious neurologic injury, he is fighting the ventilator, which is compromising his oxygenation status. This is evidenced by the SpO2 of 92% that is reported. He has a high intracranial pressure reading (23 mm Hg).
This patient has low to moderate levels of complexity. The main source of his complexity is his physiologic status. Other sources of complexity such as family dynamics or environmental conditions are not evident from the information provided in this case.
It is stated in the case that this patient has supportive parents. He is employed as a computer programmer. This may indicate that he has health insurance.
Participation in care
Given this patient’s neurologic status, both from his head injury and possibly also from receiving sedation, he has a low ability to participate in care. This characteristic also refers to family members participating in care. In the case, it was mentioned that the patient’s mother and girlfriend have only visited once since his accident. This further indicates the patient’s low level in this characteristic.
Participation in decision making
Given this patient’s neurologic status, he has a low ability to participate in decision making. He is unable to comprehend information as evidenced by his diagnosis of diffuse axonal injury, Glasgow Coma Scale score, and his agitated state. This characteristic also refers to family members participating in care. In the case, it was mentioned that the patient’s mother and girlfriend have only visited once since his accident. This further indicates the patient’s low level in this characteristic.
Sadly in this case, this patient has high levels of predictability. Diffuse axonal injury is usually not a cause of death. However, more than 90% remain in a permanent vegetative state. In those who do wake up, there is a high incidence of remaining significantly neurologically impaired. Sources: Vinas F.C. and Pilitsis J. 2004. Penetrating Head Trauma. Emedicine.com. Accessed April 6, 2006; Wasserman J. (2004). Diffuse Axonal Injury. Emedicine.com. Accessed April 6, 2006.