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Initial Diagnosis and Management of Coma.

Coma represents a true medical emergency. Drug intoxications are a leading cause of coma; however, other metabolic disturbances and traumatic brain injury are also common causes. The general emergency department approach begins with stabilization of airway, breathing, and circulation, followed by a thorough physical examination to generate a limited differential diagnosis that is then refined by focused testing. Definitive treatment is ultimately disease-specific. This article presents an overview of the pathophysiology, causes, examination, and treatment of coma.

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