ANSWERS and RATIONALE – NCLEX Prep Neuro



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1. B. Sudden removal of CSF results in pressures lower in the lumbar area than the brain and favors herniation of the brain; therefore, LP is contraindicated with increased ICP. Vomiting may be caused by reasons other than increased ICP; therefore, LP isn’t strictly contraindicated. An LP may be preformed on clients needing mechanical ventilation. Blood in the CSF is diagnostic for subarachnoid hemorrhage and was obtained before signs and symptoms of ICP.

2. C. Mannitol promotes osmotic diuresis by increasing the pressure gradient, drawing fluid from intracellular to intravascular spaces. Although mannitol is used for all the reasons described, the reduction of ICP in this client is a concern.

3. A. Mannitol promotes osmotic diuresis by increasing the pressure gradient in the renal tubes. Fixed and dilated pupils are symptoms of increased ICP or cranial nerve damage. No information is given about abnormal BUN and creatinine levels or that mannitol is being given for renal dysfunction or blood pressure maintenance.

4. A. Normal ICP is 0-15 mm Hg.

5. A. A therapeutic phenytoin level is 10 to 20 mg/dl. A level of 32 mg/dl indicates toxicity. Symptoms of toxicity include confusion and ataxia. Phenytoin doesn’t cause hyponatremia, seizure, or urinary incontinence. Incontinence may occur during or after a seizure.

6. C. The earliest symptom of elevated ICP is a change in mental status. Bradycardia, widened pulse pressure, and bradypnea occur later. The client may void large amounts of very dilute urine if there’s damage to the posterior pituitary.

7. D. The temporal lobe functions to regulate memory and learning problems because of the integration of the hippocampus. The frontal lobe primarily functions to regulate thinking, planning, and judgment. The occipital lobe functions regulate vision. The parietal lobe primarily functions with sensory function.

8. C. The parietal lobe regulates sensory function, which would include the ability to sense hot or cold objects. The frontal lobe regulates thinking, planning, and judgment, and the occipital lobe is primarily responsible for vision function. The temporal lobe regulates memory.

9. D. Motor testing on the unconscious client can be done only by testing response to painful stimuli. Nailbed pressure tests a basic peripheral response. Cerebral responses to pain are testing using sternal rub, placing upward pressure on the orbital rim, or squeezing the clavicle or sternocleidomastoid muscle.

10. A. The client undergoing lumbar puncture is positioned lying on the side, with the legs pulled up to the abdomen, and with the head bent down onto the chest. This position helps to open the spaces between the vertebrae.

11. C. Caloric testing provides information about differentiating between cerebellar and brainstem lesions. After determining patency of the ear canal, cold or warm water is injected in the auditory canal. A normal response that indicates intact function of cranial nerves III, IV, and VIII is conjugate eye movements toward the side being irrigated, followed by rapid nystagmus to the opposite side. Absent or dysconjugate eye movements indicate brainstem damage.

12. B. A change in vital signs may be a late sign of increased intracranial pressure. Trends include increasing temperature and blood pressure and decreasing pulse and respirations. Respiratory irregularities also may arise.

13. A. Signs of meningeal irritation compatible with meningitis include nuchal rigidity, positive Brudzinski’s sign, and positive Kernig’s sign. Nuchal rigidity is characterized by a stiff neck and soreness, which is especially noticeable when the neck is fixed. Kernig’s sign is positive when the client feels pain and spasm of the hamstring muscles when the knee and thigh are extended from a flexed-right angle position. Brudzinski’s sign is positive when the client flexes the hips and knees in response to the nurse gently flexing the head and neck onto the chest. A Glascow Coma Scale of 15 is a perfect score and indicates the client is awake and alert with no neurological deficits.

14. C. The client’s innate responses to pain are directed initially toward escaping from the source of pain. Variations in individuals’ tolerance and perception of pain are apparent only in conscious clients, and only conscious clients are able to employ distraction to help relieve pain.

15. B. A child in the acute stage of meningitis is irritable and hypersensitive to loud noise and light. Therefore, extraneous noise should be minimized and bright lights avoided as much as possible. There is no need to limit conversations with the child. However, the nurse should speak in a calm, gentle, reassuring voice. The child needs gentle and calm bathing. Because of the acuteness of the infection, sponge baths would be more appropriate than tub baths. Although treatments need to be completed as quickly as possible to prevent overstressing the child, any treatments should be performed carefully and at a pace that avoids sudden movements to prevent startling the child and subsequently increasing intracranial pressure.

16. A. DIC is characterized by skin petechiae and a purpuric skin rash caused by spontaneous bleeding into the tissues. An abnormal coagulation phenomenon causes the condition.

17. B. Organisms that cause bacterial meningitis, such as pneumococci or meningococci, are commonly spread in the body by vascular dissemination from a middle ear infection. The meningitis may also be a direct extension from the paranasal and mastoid sinuses. The causative organism is a pneumonococcus. A chronically draining ear is frequently also found.

18. A.B and D. Head tilt, vomiting, and lethargy are classic signs assessed in a child with a brain tumor. Clinical manifestations are the result of location and size of the tumor.

19. B. A diagnosis of meningitis is made by testing CSF obtained by lumbar puncture. In the case of bacterial meningitis, findings usually include an elevated pressure, turbid or cloudy CSF, elevated leukocytes, elevated protein, and decreased glucose levels.

20. C. A major priority of nursing care for a child suspected of having meningitis is to administer the prescribed antibiotic as soon as it is ordered. The child is also placed on respiratory isolation for at least 24 hours while culture results are obtained and the antibiotic is having an effect.



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