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(kŏm-presh′ŏn) [L. compressio, a pressing together] The action of pressing together, or the state of being pressed together.

aortocaval c. Obstruction to blood flow in the inferior vena cava and the abdominal aorta when a pregnant woman lies on her back. It can decrease blood pressure and produce dizziness or loss of consciousness. It is caused by the weight of the pregnant uterus on the great vessels and is relieved by tilting laterally (turning on one's side) or shifting the position of the pelvis.

breast c. Squeezing the breast between movable grids before mammographic or magnetic resonance imaging. Its purpose is to limit movement of the breast and optimize image detail, minimize the dose of radiation received, maximize the quantity of breast tissue in the field of view, and stabilize the breast during biopsy.

cerebral c. Potentially life-threatening pressure on the brain produced by increased intracranial fluid, embolism, thrombosis, tumors, skull fractures, or aneurysms.

 SYMPTOMS: The condition is marked by alterations of consciousness, nausea and vomiting, limb paralysis, and cranial nerve deficits. It may present as, or progress to, brain death. SEE: Glasgow Coma Scale.

PATIENT CARE: The patient is closely assessed for signs and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure, respiratory distress, convulsions, bleeding from the ears or nose, or drainage of cerebrospinal fluid from the ears or nose (which most probably indicates a fracture). Neurological status is monitored for any alterations in level of consciousness, pupillary signs, ocular movements, verbal response, sensory and motor function (including voluntary and involuntary movements), or behavioral and mental capabilities; and vital signs are assessed, esp. respiratory patterns. Any signs of deterioration are documented and reported. Seizure precautions are maintained.

 Insertion of an intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring device permits monitoring of cerebral perfusion and draining of cerebrospinal fluid to decrease ICP and reduce intracranial volume. Other inserted devices, including fiberoptic catheters, probes, and strain gauges can be used to measure ICP. A brain scan may help to determine the cause. Hyperventilation reduces PaCO2, causing cerebral blood vessels to constrict, thus lessening blood volume within the cranium and lowering ICP. Osmotic diuretics and hypertonic saline solutions also help to move fluid out of the brain and into the intravascular space. If these therapies fail, decompressive craniectomy, high-dose barbiturate therapy, and aggressive therapeutic hyperventilation may be instituted. All general patient care concerns apply. In addition, the patient requires aggressive pulmonary care to prevent respiratory complications; enteral or parenteral nutrition to maintain a normoglycemic state, meet hypermetabolic energy requirements, and prevent protein calorie malnutrition; and careful assessment for coagulopathies and gastrointestinal bleeding and prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis. Physical and occupational therapists help to prevent musculoskeletal complications. Special mattresses, careful repositioning, and regular skin care help prevent skin breakdown.

chest c. ABBR: CC. Forcible depression ...

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