Neurocritical care equipment

Equipment you may see at the bedside

  • Bedside monitor - the bedside monitor displays different measurements used to guide treatment.  The monitor has many different alarms.
  • ICP bolt and monitor - this is a machine which measures the pressure in the brain. Although this may look alarming it does not cause the patient any pain.
  • Pumps - these are used to provide nutrition and medications to the patient.
  • Ventilator - this is a machine that assists breathing. Movement, coughing or a change in the patient’s breathing pattern can cause the alarms to sound.
  • All of these machines have alarms that are set to give information to the nurse caring for the patient.

Angiogram – A procedure performed to view blood vessels. A dye or contrast medium which is visible on x-ray is injected into the arteries. A series of x-rays are then taken to show the flow of blood through the arteries and veins in the brain.

Chest x-ray – This is a picture of the inside of your body which gives information about the lungs and certain tubes.

CT scan – This is a series of x-rays of the head or body which are analysed by computer to show a patient’s body as if it were a series of layers.

MRI – This is similar to a CT scan but it gives a bit more information for the clinicians. The images are created by using a strong magnetic field. Prior to an MRI, a checklist will be completed by the doctors to determine whether the patient has any metal implants which are not compatible with MRI.

EEG – An electro-encephalogram (EEG) can detect changes and abnormalities in the brain’s electrical activity. Sticky pads are placed at key points on the head and attached via wires to a machine. Electrical impulses are detected and recorded for analysis.