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Clinical Approach to the Patient in Coma
Korean J Geriatr Gerontol 2012 Dec;13(4):170-180
Published online December 31, 2012
Copyright © 2012 The Korean Academy of Clinical Geriatrics.

Dong Kuck Lee, M.D.

Department of Neurology, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Coma is a state of unresponsiveness in which a person is unaware of themself and the environment and cannot be aroused into a state of awareness or respond to the environment. Coma is among the most common and striking problems in general medicine, It accounts for a substantial portion of admissions to emergency wards and occurs on all hospital services. Because coma demands immediate attention, the physician must employ an organized approach. Most causes of coma speedily threaten life. Therefore, they must be promptly identified and treated. Unfortunately, patients with a depressed level of alertness cannot give an account of the events leading to their situation, and often no one who has observed the patient before admission is available to provide such information. Therefore, the physician has to rely on examination of the patient, not only to localize the damaged anatomic structures but also to identify the offending agent. The examination should be thoughtful and well informed but not necessarily long, A delay in protecting the airway of a poorly responsive patient may cause severe neurologic damage.
Keywords : Coma, Organized approach


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