When there is bleeding or swelling in the brain, it can result in increased pressure within the head. Increased pressure slows down the flow of oxygen to the brain. This can cause more damage to the brain. Treatment to prevent or lower this pressure may include:
– Sedation (an artificial sleep) to lower the brain's need for oxygen
– Removal of excess fluid from the brain
– Temporary paralysis of all muscles
Sometimes a special monitor is placed beneath the skull to measure pressure inside the head, so that it can be treated quickly if it increases. The intercranial pressure (ICP) monitor is often called a screw or bolt, because that is what it looks like.