Nursing Care Plan For Subdural Hematoma

Nursing Care Plan For Subdural Hematoma


A subdural hematoma is a serious medical condition characterized by the accumulation of blood between the layers of tissue that surround the brain. It occurs as a result of head trauma, often caused by falls, accidents, or other head injuries. Nursing care for individuals with a subdural hematoma is of utmost importance in providing timely and comprehensive interventions to manage the condition and promote optimal recovery.

The nursing care plan for subdural hematoma focuses on closely monitoring the patient’s neurological status, managing potential complications, and providing supportive care throughout their recovery journey. Early recognition of symptoms and prompt intervention are critical in preventing further brain damage and minimizing long-term effects.

In this care plan for subdural hematoma, a thorough nursing assessment is essential to identify any changes in the patient’s neurological status, vital signs, and signs of increased intracranial pressure. Continuous monitoring helps nurses detect any worsening condition promptly and take appropriate actions to stabilize the patient’s condition.

Collaboration with the healthcare team, including neurosurgeons, neurologists, and other specialists, is vital to ensure a multidisciplinary approach to managing subdural hematomas. By working together, healthcare providers can develop a comprehensive care plan that addresses the specific needs of each patient and promotes the best possible outcome.

Nursing Assessment for Subdural Hematoma:

1. Neurological Assessment:

  • Conduct a thorough neurological assessment, including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, to evaluate the level of consciousness, cognitive function, and responsiveness of the patient.
  • Monitor pupillary responses, assessing for changes in size and reactivity.
  • Assess motor strength and coordination, looking for any weakness or abnormalities in movement.
  • Observe for signs of neurological deterioration, such as changes in mental status, restlessness, or posturing.

2. Vital Signs and Oxygenation:

  • Monitor and document the patient’s vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation.
  • Observe for signs of increased intracranial pressure, such as elevated blood pressure and bradycardia.

3. Head Injury Assessment:

  • Obtain a detailed history of the head injury, including the mechanism of injury, time of occurrence, and any loss of consciousness.
  • Inspect the head for signs of trauma, such as scalp lacerations, bruising, or swelling.

4. Pain Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s pain using a pain scale, as head injuries can be painful and uncomfortable.
  • Note the location, intensity, and quality of the pain reported by the patient.

5. Respiratory Assessment:

  • Evaluate the patient’s respiratory status and auscultate lung sounds for any signs of aspiration or respiratory distress.
  • Assess for any signs of compromised airway or breathing difficulties.

6. Gastrointestinal Assessment:

  • Monitor the patient’s gastrointestinal status, including nausea and vomiting, which can be associated with increased intracranial pressure.

7. Mental Health Assessment:

  • Assess the patient’s emotional state and provide emotional support during the assessment process.
  • Observe for signs of anxiety, confusion, or emotional distress related to the head injury and its consequences.

8. Medication and Allergy Review:

  • Obtain a list of the patient’s current medications and any known allergies.
  • Review medications that may affect clotting or increase the risk of bleeding.

9. Past Medical History:

  • Gather information about the patient’s past medical history, including any previous head injuries or bleeding disorders.

10. Family History:

  • Inquire about a family history of bleeding disorders or neurological conditions that may be relevant to the patient’s current condition.

By conducting a comprehensive nursing assessment for subdural hematoma, healthcare providers can promptly identify potential complications and deterioration, leading to timely interventions and improved patient outcomes. The assessment serves as the foundation for developing an individualized care plan that addresses the specific needs of each patient and promotes effective management of subdural hematomas.

Nursing Diagnoses for Subdural Hematoma:

  • Risk for Decreased Intracranial Adaptive Capacity related to the presence of a subdural hematoma causing increased intracranial pressure and potential compression of brain tissue.
  • Acute Pain related to the head injury and subdural hematoma.
  • Impaired Physical Mobility related to neurological deficits and decreased muscle strength secondary to the subdural hematoma.
  • Impaired Physical Mobility related to neurological deficits and decreased muscle strength secondary to the subdural hematoma.
  • Risk for Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion related to compromised blood flow and oxygenation caused by the subdural hematoma.
  • Risk for Infection related to the possibility of surgical interventions or invasive procedures to manage the subdural hematoma.
  • Impaired Verbal Communication related to potential aphasia, dysarthria, or altered mental status resulting from the subdural hematoma.
  • Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity related to immobility and potential positioning during treatment and recovery.
  • Anxiety related to the uncertainty of the head injury’s outcome and the presence of the subdural hematoma.
  • Disturbed Sensory Perception related to changes in neurological function caused by the subdural hematoma.
  • Risk for Falls related to altered mobility and balance due to the subdural hematoma.

These nursing diagnoses provide a foundation for the development of a comprehensive care plan to address the specific needs of patients with subdural hematomas. The interventions associated with each diagnosis aim to prevent complications, manage symptoms, and support the patient’s recovery. By closely monitoring the patient’s condition and implementing evidence-based nursing interventions, healthcare providers can optimize patient outcomes and promote their overall well-being.

Nursing Interventions for Subdural Hematoma:

1. Neurological Monitoring:

  • Perform frequent neurological assessments to monitor the patient’s level of consciousness, cognitive function, and pupillary responses.
  • Document GCS scores regularly to track changes in neurological status.
  • Notify the healthcare team immediately of any significant neurological changes or signs of deterioration.

2. Pain Management:

  • Administer prescribed analgesics promptly to relieve pain and discomfort related to the head injury and subdural hematoma.
  • Use non-pharmacological pain relief measures, such as positioning, distraction techniques, or relaxation exercises.

3. Mobilization and Positioning:

  • Assist the patient with safe and controlled mobilization, taking into consideration neurological deficits and potential risks for falls.
  • Implement appropriate positioning techniques, such as maintaining the head of the bed elevated, to reduce intracranial pressure and optimize cerebral perfusion.

4. Monitor and Manage Intracranial Pressure (ICP):

  • Collaborate with the healthcare team to implement ICP monitoring when indicated, and closely monitor ICP readings.
  • Implement measures to manage increased ICP, such as maintaining a calm environment, minimizing environmental stimuli, and avoiding activities that increase intrathoracic pressure.

5. Prevent Infection:

  • Adhere to strict aseptic techniques during wound care and invasive procedures to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Monitor for signs of infection, such as fever, increased drainage, or redness at the incision site, and promptly report any changes to the healthcare team.

6. Communication Support:

  • Use clear and concise communication techniques when interacting with the patient, adapting the approach based on the patient’s cognitive abilities.
  • Provide alternative means of communication, such as using visual aids or assistive devices, if the patient experiences difficulty with verbal communication.

7. Skin Integrity Management:

  • Implement measures to prevent pressure ulcers, such as frequent repositioning, the use of pressure-relieving devices, and regular skin assessments.
  • Keep the skin clean and dry, and provide appropriate wound care if necessary.

8. Anxiety Reduction:

  • Offer emotional support and reassurance to the patient and their family, addressing any concerns or fears related to the head injury and subdural hematoma.
  • Utilize relaxation techniques or guided imagery to help the patient cope with anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

9. Sensory Stimulation:

  • Provide appropriate sensory stimulation to prevent sensory deprivation and promote cognitive functioning.
  • Engage the patient in activities that stimulate their senses, such as music therapy or tactile stimuli, as appropriate.

By implementing these nursing interventions, healthcare providers can effectively manage subdural hematomas, prevent complications, and optimize patient outcomes. The care provided by nurses plays a crucial role in supporting the patient’s recovery and promoting their overall well-being during the challenging journey of managing a subdural hematoma.


In conclusion, the nursing care plan for subdural hematoma is a comprehensive and patient-centered approach designed to address the unique challenges presented by this serious neurological condition. Through evidence-based interventions and close monitoring, nurses play a pivotal role in managing subdural hematomas, promoting patient safety, and supporting the patient’s recovery journey.

The nursing care plan prioritizes neurological monitoring, pain management, and preventing complications such as infection and falls. By closely monitoring the patient’s neurological status, nurses can promptly detect any signs of deterioration and intervene appropriately to prevent further brain damage.

Pain management is a crucial aspect of the care plan, as it enhances the patient’s comfort and well-being during the recovery process. Nurses use a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to alleviate pain and discomfort caused by head injury and subdural hematoma.

In conclusion, the nursing care plan for subdural hematoma demonstrates the commitment of nurses to deliver compassionate, evidence-based care that enhances patient outcomes and promotes the overall well-being of individuals affected by this neurological emergency. Through their expertise, vigilance, and dedication, nurses significantly contribute to the patient’s recovery and journey to optimal health, ensuring that every aspect of their care is carefully addressed to achieve the best possible outcomes. By working collaboratively with the healthcare team and the patient’s family, nurses play a crucial role in supporting individuals with subdural hematomas through this challenging and critical phase of their medical journey.


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