Traumatic brain injury: An integrated clinical case presentation and literature review Part I: Assessment and initial management

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Journal Article
Australian critical care, 2008, 21 (2), pp. 86 - 95
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Holistic nursing care of critically ill patients continues to be a challenge for all levels of critical care clinicians. Patients with multi-system dysfunction in particular, present complicated clinical challenges that demand care based on sound knowledge and understanding of physiological, psychosocial and spiritual needs. Experiential learning through exposure to a range of patient presentations enables incremental development of professional practice and excellence in nursing care. Case study learning enhances understanding through application of theory to practice in complex clinical presentations. This two-part paper outlines the assessment, interventions and outcome of a person who sustained multiple trauma including severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Part I explores assessment and initial management from pre-hospital care through to the Emergency Department (ED) and operating theatre. Part II describes the intensive care period as an integral component of the continuum of care. Key issues in the case are presented sequentially with relevant literature integrated and applied to clinical progress, focussing on the complex physiological, psychosocial, spiritual and environmental needs of the patient and his family. The purpose of the paper is to therefore provide a comprehensive learning resource for critical care nurses, particularly for those beginning their practice.
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