Health Questions and Answers

Question: How important is measuring the temperature of the comatose patient?

Answer:

Vital signs often provide clues to the cause of coma. A core temperature must be obtained. An elevated temperature should lead you to investigate the possibility of meningitis, sepsis, heat-stroke, or hyperthyroidism. Hypothermia can result from environmental exposure, hypoglycemia, or, rarely, addisonian crisis. Do not assume that an abnormal temperature has a neurogenic cause until you eliminate other causes.

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