Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Diagnosis and Nursing Care Plan

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plans Diagnosis and Interventions

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion NCLEX Review and Nursing Care Plans

Cerebral perfusion refers to the blood flow in the brain. It is necessary for proper brain function. As a result, circulating blood provides the brain with the oxygen and nutrients required to function normally. The brain receives oxygen and glucose from the blood.

Although the brain is only a tiny part of the body’s total weight, it requires much energy to function. According to the Davis Lab at the University of Arizona, the brain requires about 15% of the heart’s cardiac output to get the oxygen and glucose it requires.

The brain needs enough blood flowing through it to stay healthy. The brain can suffer damage when this cerebral perfusion is disrupted. As a result, many neurological conditions and disabilities can develop.

Ineffective cerebral perfusion results in poor cellular nourishment and oxygenation; it might be brief, with little or no implications for the patient’s health, or it can be more chronic or acute, with potentially harmful consequences. When ineffective cerebral perfusion becomes chronic, it can cause cell and tissue damage or death.

Nursing care management and planning for ineffective cerebral perfusion focus on eliminating vasoconstriction causes, enhancing peripheral blood flow, decreasing metabolic demands on the body, patient involvement, understanding the illness processes and treatment, and minimizing consequences.

Cerebral Perfusion: Blood Flow in the Brain

The left and right internal carotid arteries and the left and right vertebral arteries are the four primary arteries that provide blood to the brain. At the base of the brain, these arteries unite and create a circle. This is known as the Willis circle. Thus, smaller blood veins branch off the arteries to supply various brain parts.

There are other venous sinuses in the brain. These veins transport blood that contains carbon dioxide and other waste substances away from the cranium. Some of them are linked to the arteries of the scalp and face. The blood-brain barrier allows nutrients and waste to exchange. This barrier shields the brain.

Risks Factors to Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

Cerebral circulation issues can affect anyone at any age. Individuals who have the following risk factors for ineffective cerebral perfusion may be in danger:

  • The patient has hypertension.
  • The patient has a high cholesterol level.
  • The patient suffers from cardiac problems.
  • The patient suffers from atherosclerosis.
  • The patient’s family has a history of heart disease.
  • The patient has diabetes.
  • The patient is obese.
  • The patient smokes heavily.
  • The patient consumes more alcohol than his or her body can take.

Here are some of the uncontrollable risk factors of ineffective cerebral perfusion:

  • Age. Ineffective cerebral perfusion affects people of all ages, including children. However, the older the individuals get, the more likely they have ineffective cerebral perfusion.
  • Gender. Men are more likely than women to have ineffective cerebral perfusion.
  • Race and heredity. If a parent, grandmother, sister, or brother had a history of ineffective cerebral perfusion, the patient is more likely to experience it.
  • Stroke or heart attack in the past. Those who have had a stroke or heart attack are far more likely to suffer from ineffective cerebral perfusion. 

Signs and Symptoms of Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

The following are critical symptoms of ineffective cerebral perfusion:

  • Unexpected limb weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Difficulty to balance
  • Partial or total vision loss or double vision
  • Dizziness or the sensation of spinning
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Nausea or vomiting

These symptoms may be persistent or only last a short time.

Diagnosis of Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

  1. Doppler Transcranial Ultrasound (Ultrasonography Test). TCD ultrasonography is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to evaluate medical issues that alter cerebral perfusion. It can detect strokes associated with blood clots, restricted blood channel sections, vasospasm produced by a subarachnoid hemorrhage, micro blood clots, and other conditions.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI can provide a detailed view of the brain. A doctor may propose this test to determine whether a person has previously experienced a stroke or a comparable medical condition. This procedure produces an image of the vertebral and basilar arteries, which can aid in the detection of aneurysms or other complications of ineffective cerebral perfusion.
  3. CT Scan. A CT scanner combines a high-tech X-ray scanner with sophisticated computer processing to generate detailed, 3D images of the body’s blood veins, such as those in the brain, neck, kidneys, and legs. It can detect weaker arteries or veins and assess cerebral perfusion. CT Angiography gives the doctors more exact imaging of the blood vessels than MRI or ultrasound.
  4. Lumbar puncture (spinal tap). An invasive diagnostic examination involves removing a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from the area around the spinal cord with a needle. This test can aid in the detection of bleeding produced by a brain hemorrhage.

Complications of Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

When ineffective cerebral perfusion occurs, less glucose and oxygen reach the brain. This condition can result in brain damage and neurological issues. Some conditions associated with poor cerebral circulation include:

  • Cerebral edema
  • Cerebral hypoxia
  • Stroke
  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  1. Cerebral Edema. Edema is a type of inflammation caused by the accumulation of watery fluids. Cerebral edema is swelling characterized by increased fluid in the cerebral cavity. Disturbances in cerebral perfusion can also cause it. Cerebral edema can put a strain on the brain. If not alleviated immediately, this can gradually damage or harm the brain.
  2. Cerebral Hypoxia. Cerebral hypoxia occurs when a portion of the brain does not receive adequate oxygen. This condition occurs when the patient’s blood has insufficient oxygen despite adequate cerebral perfusion. The following are some of the causes of cerebral hypoxia:
    • Drowning
    • Choking
    • Suffocation
    • High altitudes
    • Respiratory illnesses
    • Anemia

Late treatment of cerebral hypoxia can result in coma or even death.

  1. Stroke. A stroke is a sudden disruption of continuous blood flow to the brain that results in neurological function loss. A blockage can interrupt blood flow, resulting in the more prevalent ischemic stroke, bleeding in the brain, or fatal hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke accounts for approximately 80% of all stroke cases. Strokes can happen quickly, with little or no warning, and with severe consequences. The following are some of the warning signs of stroke:
    • Feeling dizzy, nauseated, or vomiting.
    • Atypically intense headache
    • Restlessness, confusion, or memory problems
    • Paresthesia or weakness in an arm, leg, or face, particularly on one side
    • Speech that is abnormal or slurred
    • Comprehension difficulty
    • Vision loss or trouble seeing
    • Loss of stability, coordination, or walking ability
  1. Cerebral Hemorrhage. Internal bleeding in the brain cavity is what a cerebral hemorrhage is. If the artery walls get weaker and burst, it can happen, causing blood to enter the cerebral cavity. As a result, the cerebral cavity may become compressed, causing the patient to lose consciousness. Atypical blood vessel formation, bleeding diseases, and head injuries are all potential causes of a cerebral hemorrhage. This medical emergency can lead to brain damage and death.

Treatment for Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

  1. Surgery. Carotid endarterectomy is a technique in which a neurosurgeon creates an incision in the carotid artery and uses a dissecting tool to remove the blockage. Plaque removal is performed by widening the route, which aids in the restoration of adequate cerebral perfusion. Stitches or grafts will be used to repair the artery. The complete treatment typically takes about two hours. During the first few days after surgery, the patient may have pain near the incision in the neck and may experience difficulty swallowing.
  2. Cerebral Angioplasty. Cerebral angiography generates images of blood arteries in and around the brain, allowing defects such as arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms to be detected. It is also comparable to an ordinary cardiology operation. It is also used to unblock partially obscured vertebral and carotid arteries in the neck and blood vessels within the brain.
  3. Cerebral Stenting. Carotid angioplasty is frequently paired with a treatment known as stenting. Stenting is the process of inserting a tiny metal coil (stent) into a blocked artery in the brain.

Prevention of Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion

Aside from physical activity, there are numerous other strategies to enhance cerebral perfusion, such as addressing high blood pressure, cholesterol, or other vascular disorders and, minimizing cigarettes and caffeine, limiting blood flow to the brain. Here are some more simple, effective techniques to prevent ineffective cerebral perfusion:

  • The patient’s weight should be kept under check.
  • The patient should follow a well-balanced diet.
  • Staying active because physical activity promotes blood flow, which lowers the risk of blood clots.
  • Smoking should be avoided.
  • The patient should monitor or control his or her blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Improve hydration. Drinking at least five glasses of water every day may help reduce the risk of hypertension.
  • Increase the consumption of green tea.
  • Limit the salt intake.
  • Take multivitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Maximize the consumption of beets, green leafy vegetables, berries, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne pepper.
  • Increase the consumption of magnesium-rich foods such as avocados, almonds, and seeds.
  • Consume more potassium-rich foods, such as spinach and root crops.
  • Limit the intake of alcohol, fruit drinks, and sodas.
  • Sleep for 7 to 8 hours per night, and if the patient has sleep apnea, encourage them to have it evaluated and treated.
  • Examine any sudden or persistent changes in the patient’s mental state.
  • Keep track of the blood pressure readings to check for orthostatic changes

Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion Nursing Diagnosis

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plan 1


Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion related to clot emboli, cerebral vessel hemorrhage, occlusive disorder, cerebral vasospasms, and cerebral hypoxia secondary to stroke as evidenced by speech problems, and limb weakness, difficulty swallowing, and loss of balance.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient’s level of consciousness, cognition, and motor or sensory function will remain normal or improve.
  • The patient will have steady vital signs and no signs of increased intracranial pressure (ICP).
  • The patient will demonstrate no further degradation or relapse of deficits in the patient.
Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing InterventionsRationale
Evaluate the patient’s airway patency and breathing pattern.    A stroke’s neurologic deficits may include loss of gag or cough reflex; thus, airway patency and respiratory rate must be included in the initial evaluation.  
Examine the factors that contribute to ineffective cerebral perfusion and the possibility of increased intracranial pressure (ICP).    The comprehensive neurologic investigation will aid in the direction of therapy and the selection of intervention strategies.
Acknowledge a transient ischemic attack (TIA) clinical signs and symptoms  Patients with TIA present with transient neurologic manifestations such as rapid deterioration of motor, sensory, or visual function caused by transient ischemia to a precise brain area, even though their brain imaging scan reveals no ischemia. Recognizing TIA symptoms may serve as a warning of an unexpected and sudden stroke, as TIAs precede approximately 15% of all strokes.  
Monitor blood pressure fluctuations and compare BP measurements in both arms.  Hypertension is a significant risk factor for stroke. Blood pressure fluctuations can occur due to cerebral damage in the vasomotor region of the brain. A triggering factor could have been hypertension or postural hypotension. Hypotension can also result from shock (circulatory collapse), while high ICP might result from tissue inflammation or thrombus formation. The discrepancy in pressure values between arms may indicate subclavian artery occlusion. Furthermore, if the patient is a candidate for fibrinolytic therapy, blood pressure control is critical to lowering the risk of hemorrhage.  
Keep an eye on the patient’s heart rate and rhythm, and listen for murmurs.        Variations in rate, particularly bradycardia, can occur due to brain injury. Dysrhythmias and murmurs may indicate heart illness and precipitate CVA (stroke after MI or valve dysfunction). Atrial fibrillation increases the probability of emboli development.
Cheyne-Stokes’s breathing should be monitored, and record the patterns and rhythm.  Irregular breathing can indicate the site of a brain injury or an increase in ICP and the necessity for additional intervention, such as respiratory assistance.  
Assess the patient’s risk of stroke.      Stroke prevention is still the best approach. A healthy lifestyle, including exercise, keeping a healthy weight, and eating a portion of nutritious food, can minimize the likelihood of obtaining a stroke.  
Put the patient in a neutral position with the head slightly lifted.    This intervention lowers arterial pressure by encouraging venous drainage and may enhance cerebral perfusion. Keep the head of the bed at less than 30 degrees during the acute stroke period.  
Maintain bed rest, provide a peaceful and soothing environment, and limit visits and activities. Nursing interventions should be clustered, and rest times should be provided between care tasks.  Procedures’ duration should be limited. Persistent stimulation or activity may lead to an increase in intracranial pressure (ICP). Rest and silence may be needed to avoid re-bleeding.  

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plan 2


Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion related to cerebral swelling, insufficient gas exchange, elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), and persistent hypoxemia secondary to near-drowning as evidenced by a changed degree of consciousness, behavioral abnormalities, motor, and pupillary response changes, and cranial nerve response impairment.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will be able to maintain adequate cerebral tissue perfusion.
  • The patient will remain alert and receptive. In addition, there would be no neurological deficiency, no hyperactive pupils, and will have a standard or baseline motor performance.
Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess the patient’s state of consciousness using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).   The GCS evaluates changes in awareness based on verbal, sensorimotor, and pupillary reflexes. Restlessness and anxiety are early indicators of cerebral hypoxia, which progresses to agitation, disorientation, lethargy, and coma.  
Assess the level of stimulation in the patient’s surroundings.  Environmental factors may trigger increased ICP episodes.  
Keep an eye out for any indications of epileptic seizures.  Seizures can occur as a result of any cerebral inflammation or trauma. The cerebral metabolism and oxygen demand accelerate during a seizure. Seizure precautions may be necessary.  
Examine cranial nerve responses, particularly the vagus nerve.      The absence of cranial nerve responses means that artificial airway care is required.  
Monitor the ethanol levels and the toxicological screen results of the patient  Recreational alcohol or drug consumption has been linked to near-drowning accidents, and its effects can obscure actual loss of consciousness.  
Maintain a midline head and body posture and keep the head of the bed elevated.    This position encourages venous outflow from the brain, which lowers ICP.  

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plan 3


Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion related to cerebral swelling related to meningococcemia as evidenced by general prodrome of cough, headache, and sore throat then followed by a few days of upper respiratory symptoms, rising temperature, and chills, lethargy, stiffness, muscle aches, migraine, nausea, vomiting, and musculoskeletal pain.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will describe sensations of relaxation and comfort.
  • The patient will remain mindful at all times.
  • The patient will verbally express his or her knowledge of the treatment strategy.
Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing InterventionsRationale
As needed, supply oxygen to the patient.  This therapy lowers hypoxia, increasing blood volume, stimulating cerebral vasodilation, and raising intracranial pressure.  
Avoid bending the knees and pushing the heels on the mattress when repositioning.These activities raise intrathoracic and intra abdominal pressures, which raises intracranial pressure.  
Maintain a midline position for the head or neck and provide a small pillow for support.    Moving the head to one side restricts the jugular veins and prevents venous outflow, raising intracranial pressure.
Reduce external stimulation by providing comfort measures such as a quiet setting, soft voice, and gentle touch.  This intervention produces a calming effect that reduces unfavorable physiologic responses and encourages relaxation to maintain or lower intracranial pressure.  
Lift the head of the bed by 30 degrees and prevent neck and hip flexion.    Encourages venous outflow from the head, lowering cerebral congestion and edema and the risk of elevated intracranial pressure.

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plan 4


Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion related to cerebral inflammation and elevated intracranial pressure secondary to meningitis as evidenced by disorientation, delusions, sleepiness, and hypercapnia.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient’s vital signs will start to improve.
  • The patient will be awake and focused.
  • The patient’s motor, cognitive, and sensory function will be within allowable limits for his or her age, and the specific urine gravity will be normal.
Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing InterventionsRationale
Monitor the patient’s vital signs and neurological state.      Elevated systolic blood pressure while dropping diastolic blood pressure is a warning indication of elevated intracranial pressure.  
Keep an eye out for increased restlessness, groaning, and defensive behavior.    Nonverbal indicators may suggest an increase in intracranial pressure or pain. Increased intracranial pressure might be exacerbated by unrelieved discomfort.  
Observe the patient for any indicators of increased intracranial pressure.  Headache, tiredness, decreased alertness, vomiting, and a bulging fontanels are signs of increased intracranial pressure.  
Examine for nuchal stiffness, twitching, agitation, and restlessness.These are symptoms of meningitis, which can occur due to infection.
Monitor the patient’s arterial blood gasses (ABGs) and oxygen saturation.This intervention identifies the presence of hypoxia and the requirement for therapy.  

Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing Care Plan 5

Intracranial Aneurysm

Nursing Diagnosis: Ineffective Cerebral Perfusion related to vasospasm or hemorrhage secondary to intracranial aneurysm as evidenced by visual abnormalities, numbness, or weakness on one side of the face, speech difficulties, migraines, loss of coordination, trouble concentrating, or short-term memory problems.

Desired Outcomes:

  • The patient will exhibit a normal level of consciousness.
  • The patient will remain attentive and oriented to other people, places, or objects.
Ineffective Cerebral Tissue Perfusion Nursing InterventionsRationales
Maintain a neurologic flow record and continuously monitor for neurologic deterioration.  If the patient is showing signs of neurologic deterioration, he or she must be observed. Here are a few examples of possible manifestations: Partial or total paralysisMuscle fatigue.Partial or complete loss of sensationSeizures.
Assess blood pressure, pulse, state of consciousness, pupillary responses, and motor function at least every hour. Monitor respiratory status and report any changes to the physician immediately    Abnormalities in the blood pressure, pulse, state of consciousness, pupillary responses, and motor function may suggest more severe issues, so these critical parameters must be measured from time to time.
Execute aneurysm precautions such as immediate and complete bed rest in a quiet, stress-free environment, and limit visitors to family only.      Two of the best strategies to prevent cerebral aneurysms are getting enough rest and dwelling in a quiet environment.  
Avoid any action that causes a sudden increase in blood pressure or impedes venous return, such as the Valsalva maneuver or straining. Instruct the patient to exhale while urinating or defecating.  This technique seeks to reduce tension since straining might cause pressure in the brain to elevate, potentially leading to an aneurysm rupture.  
Patients with deep vein thrombosis should use anti-embolism stockings or sequential compression devices.  Check the patient’s legs for clinical symptoms of deep vein thrombosis such as discomfort, redness, swelling, warmth, and edema. These symptoms could be a warning sign of an aneurysm.  

Nursing References

Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Makic, M. B., Martinez-Kratz, M. R., & Zanotti, M. (2020). Nursing diagnoses handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Gulanick, M., & Myers, J. L. (2022). Nursing care plans: Diagnoses, interventions, & outcomes. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. Buy on Amazon

Ignatavicius, D. D., Workman, M. L., Rebar, C. R., & Heimgartner, N. M. (2020). Medical-surgical nursing: Concepts for interprofessional collaborative care. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon

Silvestri, L. A. (2020). Saunders comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.  Buy on Amazon


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