- Ensure that the patient actually has a CSF leak.
While some patients have clear fluid leaking from ear or nose that was not present preinjury, in others, it might not be obvious.
- Place the patient at bed rest with the head elevated to decrease intracranial pressure, thereby decreasing leakage.
- Restrict nose blowing
- Monitor vital signs
- Watch out for fever and other signs of meningitis as ordered (i.e., diuretics such as, furosemide & hydrochlorothiazide, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide, and steroids)
- Administer medication to decrease production of spinal fluid.
- The neurosurgeon may need to place a lumbar drain so the leak can seal. Check with the neurosurgeon before placement of a nasogastric tube, as a frontal fracture through the cribiform plate can allow placement of the catheter into the brain.