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Nursing Care Plan: Loss of Consciousness

Loss of consciousness or “blackouts” is an unprompted state of loss of perception triggered by various causes like cardiovascular disorders, (e.g. cardiac arrhythmias), neurological conditions (e.g. epilepsy) and others. A nursing care plan for loss of consciousness is critical for proper care which if not administered could lead to death or comatose. Nursing care plan included guideline for initial assessment, diagnosis and specialist referral for proper care.

Initial assessment involves the recording or documentation of accurate information taken from patient or any witnesses to help determine the occurrence of loss of consciousness. This is immediately supplemented by an assessment of the patient’s health history, current medication, physical examination through cardiovascular or neurological signs and hemoglobin levels test if anemia is suspected.

An uncomplicated faint involves prolonged standing provoked by pain, and prodromal symptoms like sweating. A situational syncope is incited by straining during coughing, or swallowing. An Orthostatic hypotension can be confirmed when constant clinical measurements of lying and standing blood pressure. Under these instances, patients can be quickly discharged with proper advice and information. However, further assessment and referral to specialist should be given for loss of consciousness is caused by epilepsy which is indicated by bitten tongue, head turning to one side, no memory of the event and confusion following the event. Meanwhile loss of consciousness due to cardiovascular factors should be referred within 24 hours for further assessment or diagnosis through ECG, heart failure, occurrence during exertion, family history of sudden cardiac death, breathlessness and murmuring heart.

In case of loss of consciousness, focus is on accurate nursing assessment in order to properly diagnose or identify cause so that patient can be correctly referred to specialist or further assessment procedure. Getting the correct diagnosis as quickly as possible is important for patient to receive or get the proper medical attention and care.

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