Assessing Consciousness in Critically Ill Patients

  • S. Laureys
  • S. Majerus
  • G. Moonen


An accurate and reliable evaluation of the state of consciousness in intensive care unit (ICU) patients is of primordial importance for their appropriate management. Altered states of consciousness are commonly encountered in ICUs. Even excluding neurological and neurosurgical ICUs, altered states of consciousness are the primary reason for adult ICU admission in 3 to 7% of cases [1]. Additionally, secondary alterations of consciousness due to encephalopathy, seizures, and cerebrovascular accidents are known to occur in one-eighth of unselected patients admitted to a medical ICU, and even more frequently in those with sepsis [2, 3]. Up to one-fifth of patients develop an acute confusional state in the ICU [4].


Glasgow Coma Scale Brain Death Verbal Score Persistent Vegetative State Consciousness Scale 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Laureys
  • S. Majerus
  • G. Moonen

There are no affiliations available

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