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Initial Management of Patients with Stupor and Coma 

Initial Management of Patients with Stupor and Coma
Chapter:
Initial Management of Patients with Stupor and Coma
Author(s):

Jerome B. Posner

, Clifford B. Saper

, Nicholas D. Schiff

, and Jan Claassen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190208875.003.0007
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date: 29 September 2020

This chapter provides a general approach to the emergency care of comatose patients. It presents a clinical regimen for the diagnosis and management of patients suffering from stupor or coma. Of all the acute problems in clinical medicine, as the chapter explains, none is more challenging than the prompt diagnosis and effective management of the patient in coma. This is largely because the causes of coma are so many and the physician possesses only a limited time in which to make the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic judgments. The authors detail basic emergency procedures to evaluate and support the essential airway, breathing, and circulation, and then move through a methodical, step-by-step examination and evaluation of all body systems, focusing on eye and pupillary reactions, motor responses, reflexes, and muscle tone.

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