Some regard the Cushing response as a pathophysiologic curiosity of remote clinical value (1, 2, 3). Rising blood pressure and falling heart rate from intracranial pressure (ICP) elevation usually appear in moribund patients with severe brain injury who have little chance of recovery. Respiratory changes, on the other hand, appear earlier when patients deteriorate (4), suggesting different response thresholds for elements of the Cushing response.
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