Case Studies in Cardiac Dysfunction After Acute Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Jason C. Hamilton; Lauren Korn-Naveh; Elizabeth A. Crago


J Neurosci Nurs. 2008;40(5):269-274. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Patients with acute aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) often present with more than just neurological compromise. A wide spectrum of complicating cardiopulmonary abnormalities have been documented in patients with acute SAH, presenting additional challenges to the healthcare providers who attempt to treat and stabilize these patients. The patients described in this article presented with both acute aneurysmal SAH and cardiopulmonary compromise. Education and further research on this connection is needed to provide optimal care and outcomes for this vulnerable population. Nurses play a key role in balancing the critical and diverse needs of patients presenting with these symptoms.

Myocardial dysfunction after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can be challenging, even for the most experienced clinicians. In the neurovascular intensive care unit (NVICU), priorities historically have focused on preserving brain tissue and subsequently assessing secondary complications such as myocardial damage. Recent research suggests that cardiac dysfunction often accompanies SAH, and it may have a significant effect on outcomes. The purpose of this article is to present three cases of aneurysmal SAH with subsequent cardiac dysfunction and identify how nurses in the NVICU can monitor and intercede to promote optimal outcomes.