COMA

Published by administrator on Fri, 03/23/2012 - 17:49 in
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Alternative names:

Alertness, decreased; changes in consciousness; coma; decreased consciousness; loss of alertness; mental status, decreased; stuporous 

Definition:

Diminished alertness or awareness. 

Considerations:

Decreased consciousness may result from a multitude of conditions including intoxication (drug, alcohol or toxin), metabolic abnormalities, seizure activity (epilepsy), central nervous system diseases and conditions, head trauma, shock. and decreased oxygen (hypoxia).

Decrease in consciousness, unconsciousness, and coma almost always require medical evaluation (with the possible exception of alcohol intoxication, simple fainting, or a previously recognized seizure disorder).

Persistent coma is called vegetative state. 

Common causes:

  • head trauma
  • extreme fatigue or sleep deprivation
  • seizure activity
  • stroke (CVA)
  • heart failure
  • arrhythmia
  • diabetic coma (diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar coma)
  • hypoglycemia
  • ketoacidosis
  • head injury
  • drug intoxication (for example, from analgesics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, benzodiazepines, digoxin, ethanol , heavy metals, hydrocarbons, barbiturates, insulin, lithium, organophosphates, phencyclidine, phenothiazines-oral, salicylates - oral, or tricyclic antidepressants)

Note: There may be other causes of decreased consciousness. This list is not all inclusive, and the causes are not presented in order of likelihood. The causes of this symptom can include unlikely diseases and medications. Furthermore, the causes may vary based on age and gender of the affected person, as well as on the specific characteristics of the symptom such as quality, time course, aggravating factors, relieving factors, and associated complaints. Use the Symptom Analysis option to explore the possible explanations for decreased consciousness, occurring alone or in combination with other problems.

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