A patient who sustained a subarachnoid hemorrhage was placed on subarachnoid (aneurysm) precautions. Which of the following is most appropriate for this patient?

Stool softeners


• This question asks you to identify the option that is most appropriate for the patient on subarachnoid (aneurysm) precautions.

• Stool softeners or laxatives should be provided to promote easy bowel movement without straining. Straining during defecation would increase intracranial pressure (ICP).

• Subarachnoid (aneurysm) precautions are focused on reducing stimuli that could increase the patient’s intracranial pressure. Additionally, there must be suction equipment and oxygen at the bedside.

• Effective ways to limit stimuli include dimming the lights and decreasing environmental noise and noxious stimuli.

• Incorrect: Enemas are avoided because they can lead to straining to evacuate the enema which further leads to increased ICP.

• Incorrect: Television and bright lights increase stimuli which can contribute to increased ICP.

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