Intracranial Pressure Monitoring Device and its Critical Applications
Intracranial pressure monitoring devices are used to measure the pressure inside the brain in case of severe brain injury. These devices are inserted inside the brain and then monitored the pressure it creates during the treatment process.
Intracranial pressure monitoring devices measure the pressure inside the skull in case there is a severe brain injury, head surgery, brain infection, or other problems leading to swelling brain. The brain is covered by the skull leaving just a little room for it to swell.
Hence, the pressure inside the skull goes up as the brain starts swelling. The swelling can be proved fatal if the pressure gets significantly higher than usual. The monitoring of intracranial pressure is required if a person is diagnosed with brain tumors and hydrocephalus.
There are two ways of monitoring intracranial pressure:
- One way of monitoring the intracranial pressure is to place a small, hollow tube or catheter into the fluid-filled space in the brain, which is called the ventricle.
- Another way is by inserting a small, hollow device into space just between the skull and the brain through the skull.
As critical the procedures are, the devices are inserted by the expert physician either in the operating room or the intensive care unit (ICU). Then, the ICP device is connected to a monitor that displays a continuous and uninterrupted reading of the pressure inside the skull. This helps in keeping the physicians proactive in taking the necessary step if any urgency pops up. The patient is put under medication all the while the ICP device is in place and keeps him comfortable. The device is only removed if the swelling goes down, and there are no more chances of more swelling.
The Working Process of ICP
As mentioned earlier, the intracranial pressure device is implanted into the brain using a small hole pierced through the skull. Expert surgeons perform this critical and vulnerable surgery in the ICU. The device is attached to the intracranial pressure monitor if the only reason to install the device is to measure the compression within the skull. The monitor connected to the device can be a totally different monitor or a part of the monitor at the bedside.
For the device inserted into a ventricle of the brain, there’s also a drainage system to help remove some cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid adjacent to the brain to cushioning it from the hard skull. This drainage system is referred to as the external ventricular drain (EVD). When a critical scenario such as a sudden increase of pressure in the brain arises, the exclusion of small quantities of CS Fluid will make more space for the brain in the skull and help to decrease the pressure inside the skull.
The Perfect Monitor
The monitor to track the intracranial pressure must be chosen very carefully. The perfect monitor used to track ICP must be accurate, easy to use, reliable, affordable, and reproducible. It should be connectible to the ICP device, whether it is a minimal infection or hemorrhagic complication. Currently, EVD systems are considered as the standard devices to monitor ICP among all devices.
Reliable and perfect invasive transducers are facing limits in their usage because of their high cost and lesser access to technology.
Intraparenchymal pressure monitoring systems are pertinent in slit-like ventricles in the pediatric age group and swollen brain situations.
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