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Clin Neurosurg. 1976;23:494-519.

ICP monitoring: complications and associated factors.


1. Patients with complications when compared with those not developing a complication: a. Were older, 44.4 vs. 34.5 years; b. Were monitored longer, 14.0 vs. 6.5 days; c. Were treated with steroids longer, 18.3 vs. 10.3 days; d. Were hospitalized longer, 35.7 vs. 27.7 days; e. Are twice as likely to die; f. Average age of those dying is older, 46 vs. 30 years; g. Have no clear relationship to antibiotics; h. Do not have a preponderance of single diagnostic category to account for these differences; i. Complications were always controlled with standard therapy; j. An ICP complication was almost never responsible, per se, for death. 2. Over all complication rate was 18%; due to monitoring was 4.5 to 11.5%. 3. Monitoring was responsible for, or contributed to, 25 to 60% of the complications. 4. No complications occurred when monitoring was discontinued within 3 days. 5. Long periods of treatment with steroids increased the risk of a complication developing. 6. Long periods of monitoring were associated with an increased risk of complication. 7. "Individual" factors are partly responsible for the development of a complication, and death. 8. There are two groups of complications: "early" and "late." A. Those most likely to be monitor related occur "late" and account for 35% of the complications. B. Those developing "early" infection account for 65% of the complications and are most likely caused by factors other than monitoring. While there are complications directly attributable to monitoring, the rate is low and they are readily controlled by standard neurosurgical management. While monitoring may increase the morbidity, it does not increase the mortality. We feel that the over-all risk is small and that the returns are great--both in terms of knowledge and patient benefit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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