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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intra- and extracranial causes alteration in level of consciousness.

Acutely ill patients often demonstrate an altered level of consciousness. However, there are a variety of different reasons that may cause this alteration and nurses caring for patients without a defined cerebral event need to be aware of situations that can alter a patient's level of consciousness so that care strategies can be implemented. This article explains the concepts of consciousness and intracranial pressure and what is meant by an 'altered level of consciousness'. Assessment strategies are identified and a simple alternative to the Glasgow Coma Scale is identified that can be used as an initial assessment tool. This then allows the nurse caring for the patient with an altered level of consciousness to rationalize his/her intervention in relation to that patient.[1]


  1. Intra- and extracranial causes alteration in level of consciousness. McLeod, A. British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing) (2004) [Pubmed]
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