Stupor
Stupor is a state of impaired consciousness in which it is difficult to arouse a person even with vigorous, noxious stimulation. The state of ...

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Definition

Stupor is an alteration of consciousness marked by decreased responsiveness to environmental stimuli and absence of spontaneous movement.

Alternative Names

Obtundation, obtunded, stupors, stuporous.

Synopsis

Stupor is a state of impaired consciousness in which it is difficult to arouse a person even with vigorous, noxious stimulation. The state of obtundation resembles a deep sleep from which the person can only be awakened for brief periods by shaking, shouting or pinching. Any alteration of consciousness is considered a medical emergency and immediate medical evaluation and treatment should be provided.

Stupor can be caused by trauma, narcotics, adverse changes within the brain such as a stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning – prompt medical attention is crucial to prevent brain damage and death.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Acetaminophen overdose
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Alcohol related disorders
  • Head injury
  • Hemorrhagic shock
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Concussion
  • Delirium
  • West Nile Virus
  • Narcotic overdose
  • Hypoxia
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Uremia
  • Hyperammonemia
  • Sedative overdose
  • Anti-convulsant overdose
  • Psychotropic drug overdose
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Heat stroke
  • Hypothermia
  • Acidosis
  • Alkalosis
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalopathy
  • Encephalitis
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)
  • Tumors
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Basilar migraine

Diagnosis and Treatment

Stupor is a medical emergency requiring immediate medical investigation to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Call 911

If you are unable to arouse a person with a decreased level of consciousness.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: November 27, 2007
Last Updated: November 30, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
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