Faculty Advisor(s)

Elisha Coppens

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© 2022 Natasha K. Moody


As research and science has progressed to further analyze the effects of anesthetics on cerebral physiology, the margin of safety for each anesthetic is reassessed to enhance patient outcomes and recovery. The purpose of this review is to strategically examine and provide updated information on the impact of specific anesthetics administered during the intraoperative period as it applies to patients with acute traumatic brain injury (TBI). In efforts to preserve the cerebral physiology of the patient, current research has identified benefits of administering intravenous over inhalation anesthetics to reduce secondary injuries that have been linked to chronic TBI, morbidity, and mortality. Concentrating on common anesthetics used in the United States of America, research included in this review identified desflurane, sevoflurane, isoflurane, and nitrous oxide as the most studied and accessible inhalation anesthetics for this group of patients during the intraoperative period. Comparatively, intravenous anesthetics propofol, ketamine, benzodiazepines, opioids, and etomidate were more closely evaluated. At the conclusion of this review, the nurse anesthetist will be empowered with current clinical research to make a balanced and informed decision when caring for a patient with acute TBI.


MSNA Capstone



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