Severe Disorders of Consciousness: The Evolution of Care | 45830

Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology

ISSN - 2155-9562


Severe Disorders of Consciousness: The Evolution of Care

Stacey L. Sheon JD

Emergency medical treatment and intensive care are responsible for the survival of many individuals who
would have otherwise died because of an injury to their brain. Consequently, an increased number of people are in
vegetative and minimally conscious states. Advances in diagnostic methods, prognostic knowledge, neuroimaging,
pharmacology, and proactive treatment approaches necessitate renewed consideration of patient autonomy and
clinical experimentation issues for the interest of the patient and society as a whole. Care guidelines for minimally
conscious states should be established and guidelines for vegetative states should be redesigned to reflect the
advances in this clinical area. Furthermore, methods for accurately educating the public about disorders of
consciousness and informing surrogate decision-makers need to be addressed.