Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is coma?

Answer:

What terms should be used to describe altered sensorium? A depressed mental state in which verbal and physical stimuli cannol elicit useful responses. Other terms, such as lethargic, stuporous, or obtunded, mean different things to different observers and should be avoided. It is best to describe the mental functions the patient can perform (e.g., the patient is oriented to person, place, and time; knows the name of the President; and can count backward from 20).

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