Consciousness - decreased
Decreased consciousness is reduced alertness or awareness.
Review Date: 04/21/2009
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, Clinic. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Behavioral observation constitutes the standard method for detecting signs of consciousness in severely brain injured patients. It is important, however, to make a distinction between "arousal" and "consciousness".
Loss of Consciousness
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Symptoms & Signs
Diagnosis & Tests
Prevention & Expectations
Treatment & Monitoring
Consciousness is decreased to varying degrees. Repeated stimuli arouse patients only briefly or not at all.
Depending on the cause, other symptoms develop (see Table 3: Coma and Impaired Consciousness: Findings by Location*): ...
Disorders of ~ are medical conditions that inhibit ~. This category generally includes minimally conscious state and persistent vegetative state, but sometimes also includes the less severe locked-in syndrome and more severe chronic coma.
Breast-cancer awareness now in national ~
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Also known as astatic seizures or drop attacks, these seizures involve a brief loss of ~ in the affected person. Once it is over, the person is usually unaware of what happened.
knsns noun the state of being mentally alert and knowing what is happening to lose ~ to ...
Sense of awareness of self and of the environment.
That which can be observed in patients. Research that uses patients to test new treatments, as opposed to laboratory testing or research in animals.
~ and the Brain
The brain is the main organ responsible for maintaining ~. Your brain requires adequate amounts of oxygen and glucose in order to function properly. Many substances you consume affect your brain chemistry and can help to maintain or decrease ~.
See All Un~ "
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Un~ is when the victim seems to be asleep but has lost all awareness and is not able to respond to questions or to touch or gentle shaking. A sleeping person will usually respond to a loud noise, shouting, or gentle shaking.
A partial or complete loss of ~ ...
Self-~ - some people may feel embarrassed, and be reluctant to smile with parted lips.
Tooth misalignment - a large gap between the front teeth could leave not enough room for the lateral teeth (the ones next to the front teeth).
~ may be lost for a few seconds in a mild injury, or for hours or days after a more severe injury. The loss of ~ results from a blow to the head.
~ - decreased
Reye syndrome is sudden (acute) brain damage (encephalopathy) and liver function problems of unknown cause.
~ typically returns when blood sugar reaches a normal level.
Previous: Tests and diagnosis
Next: Prevention ...
Stare into space
Have convulsions (abnormal jerking of the muscles)
Experience abnormalities of sensation or emotion ...
If you are answering for someone else: Is the person unconscious now?
(If you are answering this question for yourself, say no.) ...
Loss of ~ lasting less than 30 minutes or no loss of ~ at all
Loss of memory (amnesia) lasting less than 24 hours ...
Loss of ~ due to alcohol intake, seizures, stroke, or other conditions
Impaired swallowing function due to poor dentition or a history of Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, stroke, or other conditions
History of heartburn (also called GERD)
History of lung disease ...
Loss of ~ and body tone, followed by twitching and relaxing muscle contractions
Loss of control of body functions
May be a short period of no breathing (30 seconds) and the person may turn a shade of blue ...
Loss of ~ (lasting seconds to minutes)
Memory loss of the events surrounding the injury
Problems with thinking or concentration ...
loss of ~
chest pain caused by activity or exercise
chest pain with a cold sweat
shortness of breath
palpitations (being consciously aware of an abnormality in heartbeat).
loss of ~
fits or seizures, when the body suddenly moves uncontrollably
problems with the senses, such as loss of hearing or double vision
Glasgow Coma Scale ...
Loss of ~, uncommonly
Hypoglycemia may also cause these other signs and symptoms:
Heart palpitations ...
Loss of ~
Prior to cardiac arrest, some patients report the following symptoms or warning signs in the weeks before the event: ...
Loss of ~
Respiratory failure, possibly leading to death
Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to arsine.
Loss of ~
Anaphylactic shock can be caused by an allergic reaction to a drug, food, serum, insect venom, allergen extract, or chemical.
loss of ~
transient ischemic attack (TIA, a brief stroke-like condition)
hemiplegia (paralysis of one side of the body)
embolus (clot in the blood vessel)
hematoma (an area of swelling caused by a collection of blood)
cerebrovascular accident (stroke) ...
Loss of ~ within past 24 hours
More than 24 hours (1 full day) after the injury
Loss of ~ more than 24 hours ago ...
loss of ~
altered mental state
vomiting or severe nausea
weakness, numbness, or paralysis, especially on one side of the body
sudden, severe headache ...
Loss of ~ lasting less than 30 minutes
Alteration of ~ or mental state lasting up to 24 hours
Posttraumatic amnesia up to 24 hours
Glasgow Coma Scale (best available score during the first 24 hours) of 13-15 ...
loss of ~
neurological signs (other than a headache)
abnormal heart rhythm or lack of blood to the heart
women who are pregnant.
Loss of ~ or seizure
All of the above warning signs may not occur with each stroke. Do not ignore any of the warning signs, even if they go away - take action immediately. The symptoms of stroke may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Loss of ~
Lack of pulse
No signs of breathing
Read more about sudden cardiac arrest symptoms and causes » ...
Loss of ~
The symptoms of hypoglycemia may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
How is hypoglycemia diagnosed?
If their ~ is impaired don't give them anything to eat or drink, as they may not be able to swallow or drink it properly.
If the condition does not improve:
Monitor the level of response and look for any other possible causes.
level of ~
Neurologic score (
4 = stuporous, arousal only after vigorous stimulation; inconsistently follows commands)
Encephalopathy score (
3 = major confusion, daytime sleepiness or agitation)
Glasgow Coma Scale score lower than 8 ...
Change in ~ or mental status
High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) and chills
Inability to urinate ...
Delirium or confusion
Drowsy, lethargic, hard to arouse ...
a state of ~ in which the individual eliminates environmental stimuli from awareness so that the mind has a single focus, producing a state of relaxation and relief from stress. A wide variety of techniques are used to clear the mind of stressful outside interference.
i regained ~ again quite soon, but i was scared stiff so i started crying (so embarrassing!) but yeah, that was my unfortunate experience, and when i think back to it, i still blame my mum! ...
The loss of ~ and convulsions are present in every patient, but there are other symptoms that can occur as well that are not necessarily present in every patient who has had a seizure. Some patients can sense when they are about to have a seizure, but this is not present in everyone.
You must watch your blood sugar level closely. Regular testing of your blood sugar may allow you to detect and treat hypoglycemia before it causes serious symptoms. You may be able to prevent ever having low blood sugar.
Seizures or un~
Take or send the poison container with your child to help the doctor determine what was swallowed. If your child does not have these symptoms, call your local poison control center at 800-222-1222 or your child's doctor.
The return to ~ is gradual and should occur within a few moments.
Loss of urine is common.
Often people will be confused briefly after a generalized seizure.
Excessive self-~ and anxiety in everyday social situations
Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation
Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you don’t know ...
Sudden loss of ~ (syncope)?
Cerebral hypo-perfusion from sudden drop in blood pressure, noting that BP is a function of: Cardiac output x systemic vascular resistance; and CO is a function of heart rate x stroke volume; and stroke volume is a function of inotropy and pre-load.
A brief loss of ~ caused by a temporary deficiency of oxygen in the brain; a swoon. [Heritage].
Example from an 1896 death certificate from West Virginia:
Altered level of ~
Complex seizure features (focal, prolonged, or recurrent) ...
ENCOURAGEMENT"The ~ that you are doing those things which God can approve will make you strong in His strength; and, by copying Christ the great Pattern, you may be able to be the blessing He intends for you to be in this world.
Changes in level of ~
In limbic encephalitis, auto-antibodies attack a potassium channel in the limbic area of the brain, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory.
Shown to lower serum cholesterol levels in people who consumed it in place of saturated fat ALOC Abbreviation for Acute Loss Of ~ Alograft Allogenetic graft or homograft)--A graft between two individuals who are of the same species (eg. human) but have genetic differences Aloe ...
These problems can produce seizures, unusual body movements, a loss of ~ or changes in ~, as well as mental problems or problems with the senses.
Permalink for epilepsy
epinephrine A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called adrenaline.
Permalink for epinephrine ...
Catalepsy - Condition which causes Seizures/trances or un~.
Catarrh - Inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the air passages of the head and throat, with a free discharge.
Tonic-clonic ("grand mal") seizures involve falling, loss of ~, and muscle spasms throughout the body, lasting 1 to 2 minutes. Bladder control is sometimes lost. On regaining ~, the person may be very tired and confused.
Fainting is a loss of ~, falling down or needing to lie down, followed by spontaneous recovery. Fainting by itself is not a problem, but it could be a sign of a serious health condition.
A Strategy for Scars
To reduce scarring, keep the skin area out of the sun.
If the patient is in the early stages of anaphylaxis and hasn’t yet lost ~ and is still normotensive, give epinephrine I.M. or subcutaneously (S.C.), helping it move into the circulation faster by massaging the injection site.
Gower syndrome (situational syncope): The temporary loss of ~ in particular kinds of situations. (Syncope is temporary loss of ~ or, in plain English, fainting).
Dissociative trance disorder: single or episodic disturbances in the state of ~, identity, or memory that are indigenous to particular locations and cultures.
Is ~ a biological process, or is there a separate spirit or soul within the flesh-and-bone body that makes it alive? While it might seem that a soul would be a prerequisite for having an afterlife, there is an alternative possibility.
A temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain results in un~, or fainting. Many disorders, some of them serious, can cause this. 'In adolescents,' says pediatric neurologist Dr.
Fainting (syncope) - a loss of blood supply to the brain causing loss of ~, typically after loss of blood output by the heart. Many thints can trigger the "common faint", such as emotions, rapidly assuming an upright position, and even urination.
Hypoxia (low blood oxygen) ...
reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and ~. Each personality state may be experienced as if it is a distinct individual, with a unique history, image, identity, name, etc.
The disease presents with headache, fever and eventually seizures and neurological deficits; it rapidly progresses if untreated to impairment of ~ and coma. Herpes simplex virus encephalitis is the prototype of this type of infection.
A coma, sometimes also called persistent vegetative state, is a profound or deep state of un~. Persistent vegetative state is not brain-death. An individual in a state of coma is alive but unable to move or respond to his or her environment.
Paroxysmal attacks of impaired ~, occasionally accompanied by spasm or twitching of cephalic muscles, which usually can be brought on by hyperventilation; depending on the type and severity of the absence, ...
Dissociative disorder NOS include some symptom such as disruption in the usually integrated function of ~, memory, identified or perception of the environment.
Specific movements of the arms and legs and/or the face may occur with loss of ~. A yell or cry often precedes the loss of ~.
1 - Interdisciplinary ~ Studies
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Various Authors - Dec 1st 1997
Perspectives - Vol. 3, No. 1 - Madness in the Method
Mary Midgley, Newcastle, England - Dec 1st 1997 ...
It can be started quickly and causes a rapid loss of ~. It is used when an urgent vaginal or caesarean delivery is required, as in rare instances of problems with the baby or vaginal bleeding. In these circumstances, general anaesthesia is quite safe for the baby.
The most useful observations are those of the pulse rate, blood pressure, ~, skin temperature, peripheral perfusion, and urinary output. If a patient is critically ill, make sure that, during the first few hours, some competent person checks: (1) His level of ~.
The child may appear reasonably well, then suddenly loses ~, the eyes roll up and the child either remains floppy or begins to jerk all the limbs. The fits usually last a few minutes only, commonly not more than 10 minutes and the child recovers spontaneously.
The first sign of sudden cardiac arrest may be loss of ~ (fainting) and/or no heartbeat or pulse; some individuals may have a racing heartbeat, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath, ...
Simple partial seizures do not affect ~. Sometimes the person just notices unusual feelings.
Complex partial seizures. These seizures occur through a larger area of the brain. A loss of ~ occurs.
Sometimes partial seizures proceed to involve other parts of the brain and become more complex with impairment of ~. These complex-partial seizures (formerly called psychomotor or temporal lobe epilepsy) are characterized by a complicated motor act involving impaired ~.
network inhibition hypothesis proposed pathophysiological mechanism for complex behavioral phenomena and impaired ~ in complex partial seizures; ...
Absence or petit mal seizures - the person may experience a short period of impaired ~, followed by staring into space and perhaps mild twitching of muscle groups
Focal motor seizure - repeated twitching movements in the face or limbs ...
Most people with ADPEAF have seizures described as simple partial seizures, which do not cause a loss of ~. These seizures are thought to begin in a part of the brain called the lateral temporal lobe.
Loss of ~ or fainting that lasts 30 seconds to five minutes
General muscle contraction and rigidity that usually last 15 to 20 seconds
Violent rhythmic muscle contractions and relaxation that commonly last for one to two minutes
Biting of cheek or tongue
Clenched teeth or jaw ...
If your aneurysm ruptures, you may suddenly feel intense weakness, dizziness, or back pain, and you may lose ~. This is a life- threatening situation and you should seek medical attention immediately.
What causes an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
In particular, the brain stem is very important for basic alertness and the level of ~. Significant damage to the brain stem can lead to impairment of ~, leading to coma or death.
Untreated, this condition may cause a person to lose ~ and become very ill. Diabetes associated with being overweight may have minimal symptoms and may be diagnosed when your doctor orders blood tests. Your doctor measures the glucose level in the blood.
Sudden onset meningitis features shock, internal bleeding, purple spots, and reduced ~ at the very outset, with a rapidly progressive course often resulting in death within 24 hours.
Usually known as the blue-ringed octopus, a bite from this cephalopod can cause respiratory paralysis (but not un~) within 30 minutes of a painless bite by the beak on the underside of this small octopus. It is normally some 8-11cm across, and a dull brown colour.
When handling a case of aspiration, a doctor may determine certain risk factors such as difficulty in airway management, type of surgery performed, level of un~, trauma, pain and stress.
Individuals may or may experience a loss of ~ at the time of impact, but symptoms often include confusion or fuzzy memory, headache and dizziness or disorientation. Medical attention is needed, as serious complications are rare but possible. CT scans rarely reveal a structural injury.
Biofeedback is a way to enhance a body signal so that you are aware of something that usually occurs at a level below ~. An electronic device provides information about a body function (such as heart rate) so that you can learn to control that function.
A person having a partial seizure may lose ~. There may be twitching of a finger or several fingers, a hand or arm, or a leg or foot. Certain facial muscles might twitch. Speech might become slurred, unclear, or unusual during the seizure.
The main warning signs heart muscle disease is sudden un~, chest pain or angina, arrhythmias or rapid palpitations and breathlessness. Primary cardiomyopathy does not have any specific causes.
Your thoughts become focused on what could have happened if you had lost ~ or were unable to maintain control of your car when you were driving over that bridge. You think, "What if I drove off the bridge? What if I got into a car accident?
If the effect on the bronchi becomes severe enough to impede exhalation, carbon dioxide can build up in the lungs and lead to un~ and death.
Sleep is the state of natural rest observed in humans and is characterized by a reduction in voluntary body movement, temporary blindness, decreased reaction to external stimuli, loss of ~, an increased rate of anabolism (the synthesis of cell structures), ...
A condition characterized by recurrent episodes of daytime somnolence and lapses in ~ (microsomnias) that may be associated with automatic behaviors and AMNESIA. CATAPLEXY; SLEEP PARALYSIS, and hypnagogic HALLUCINATIONS frequently accompany narcolepsy.
Does a person with a concussion always lose ~?
No. Most of the time people who have concussions do not lose ~ ("black out"). Many people believe that if they didn't black out they are fine, but that's not true.
Mild traumatic brain injury refers to brief changes in or loss of ~. Severe traumatic brain injury refers to longer periods of un~ and memory loss around the event.
Fainting is a form of un~ that is quick and brief, often due to low blood sugar or standing in one place for too long. Fainting can also be caused by a more serious medical matter.
See also: What is the meaning of Emergency, Death, Vomiting, Prevention, Stroke?