Assessing the comatose patient in the intensive care unit.

C. Stewart-Amidei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Consciousness is a complex phenomenon comprising arousal and awareness. These functions are mediated by the reticular activating system that begins in the brainstem and projects to higher cortical structures. Abnormalities directly or indirectly affecting this system may produce coma. Detailed neurologic assessment consists of evaluation of history, skeletal motor response, pupillary size and reactivity, eye movement, and respiratory patterns. Information obtained may be useful in localizing the contributory lesion, predicting outcome, and determining brain death. Several scales have been used to quantify coma, each with limitations. In the United States, the most widely used scale is the Glasgow Coma Scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalAACN clinical issues in critical care nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the comatose patient in the intensive care unit.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this