For quite some time, doctors and paramedics have relied on various tools to measure critical vitals, such as blood pressure, temperature, and pupil measurement.
This made them capable of gauging the health of their patients in various critical care settings. However, one crucial tool is recommended for any medical professional working in a critical care setting—the pupilometer.
This article will highlight why a pupilometer is necessary for critical care settings.
What is critical care medicine?
Critical care medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and managing patients with acute illnesses.
physicians critical care are also often involved in research and education related to those areas. Critical care refers to the medical practice required by patients with a life-threatening condition or at risk of death because of an underlying disease process or injury (i.e., a medical emergency). The term “critical care” refers to how healthcare providers deliver care; it does not necessarily indicate that a patient will require invasive mechanical ventilation.
What is a pupilometer?
A pupilometer is a device that measures the size of the pupil.
Pupils are light-sensitive and expand in response to light, so doctors normally use them to assess brain function. In critical care settings, they’re useful for monitoring patients’ neurological health and determining whether treatments are effective.
A pupilometer comprises a light source, an imaging device (such as a camera), and an operator interface that allows the doctor to control how much light comes into contact with the patient’s eyes. When the doctor shines this light into their pupils, they’ll dilate if all is normal. This reaction is called “the pupillary light reflex.”
The health expert can measure this size change during different eye movements.
Is the Pupilometer better than other neurological tests?
The pupilometer is a quick, reliable, and non-invasive test used in critical care settings.
It’s used to monitor neurological conditions and the effects of medications on the patient. For example, if the clinician was monitoring a traumatic brain injury, they would measure the pupillary response to see if there was any decrease in function. It’s also helpful in measuring disease progression.
For example, doctors can use it to monitor multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experiencing exacerbations because their pupils will dilate faster than normal.
Why should health professionals use the pupilometer in critical care settings?
The pupilometer is a portable device that health professionals can use to detect neurological complications in real time.
This is useful in the critical care setting, especially for patients with acute brain injury who may not exhibit any signs of neurological compromise until after they have suffered significant brain damage. Researchers have also shown that patients with hypoxia or hypotension require increased care and monitoring, including frequent medical personnel evaluations.
In this way, the pupilometer can ensure that every patient receives adequate care based on their needs.
It’s important to note that this technology should not completely replace other methods of assessment or monitoring but rather provide additional information about how your patient is responding to treatment or other factors affecting their vitals.
1. Accuracy of the Pupilometer
Researchers consider the pupilometer the most accurate method of assessing pupils in critical care patients.
The device can measure how reactive the pupils are, indicating the level of sedation or responsiveness. This is useful for determining if a patient needs any medication adjustments or is likely to have cognitive impairment because of their conditions. Pupilometry also has several advantages over other methods of measuring pupil size, including being more accurate than visual inspection.
2. Reliability and repeatability of the pupilometer
When using a pupilometer to test the size of your patient’s pupils, you will find it an objective and reliable test.
The person administering it can also repeat the results of their testing on another day by using the same device. This means they can use it repeatedly to get accurate measurements. The pupilometer is reliable because doctors can use it repeatedly without getting different results.
3. Ease of detection of neurological complications
The pupilometer is easy to use.
It requires minimal training, and individuals without clinical experience or expertise in ophthalmology can use it. The pupilometer is accurate, reliable, and rapid. These characteristics make it a valuable tool for detecting neurological complications in critically ill patients.
Unlike other methods, using a pupilometer does not require invasive procedures or the application of external substances to patients’ eyes; hence, it is safe and inexpensive to use.
Also, because of its small size, lightweight, and portability capabilities, this instrument has become an essential part of an intensive care unit’s equipment because it allows healthcare professionals to measure eye dilation quickly.
4. Reduction of time, costs, and medical errors
The pupillometer is not a replacement for a neurologist.
It is, however, an invaluable tool for any doctor who cares for patients with critical illnesses. The pupillometer helps doctors make rapid diagnoses of impaired consciousness and helps develop treatment plans that consider the patient’s current and future needs.
The data collected by the pupilometer can also help improve documentation practices by physicians as they note changes in a patient’s condition.
The pupillometer can significantly reduce costs associated with medical errors while simultaneously improving outcomes for patients at risk of developing traumatic brain injuries because of strokes or other causes.