This is one way to measure how the brain is working after a brain injury. Sometimes after brain injury, swelling starts and this can lower the amount of blood flow to the brain. Reduced blood flow lowers the amount of oxygen to the brain. Without enough oxygen, brain cells can become damaged.
Brain Tissue Monitor
How Does It Work?
A Brain Tissue Oxygen probe is placed into the brain tissue of the unconscious patient. This measures the amount of oxygen that is reaching the brain. When this type of monitoring is available, doctors and nurses can then use a breathing machine (ventilator) to change the amount of oxygen the patient breathes and this may help to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. Drugs may also be given that can help blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
Are There Any Complications?
All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
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The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from that of other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the Doctors and Nurses caring for your loved one. ICCMU attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.
Brain Tissue Oxygen Monitor Version 1.2
First published June 2004
Reviewed November 2011
Reviewed by Kay Johnson CNS ICCMU