Disorders of Consciousness
Following a severe brain injury patients may progress through various stages of consciousness; some go on to recover but others never regain awareness. These patients are described as having a prolonged disorder of consciousness. The commonest causes of a disorder of consciousness are trauma and an interruption or reduction of oxygen supply to the brain.
We get to know patients that have a prolonged disorder of consciousness by making regular skilled assessments. We will regularly review medication and monitor responses to varied sensory stimuli, wakefulness/arousal, motor skills and functional communication. This helps us to anticipate and to respond to their comfort needs and pain.
We involve the families of patients with a disorder of consciousness as we recognise that they have a most important role to play.