How To Care For An Unconscious Loved One


What is Unconscious

Unconsciousness is the state where the patient has lost his consciousness. This is due to altered sensory perception. In such a state, the patient is not aware of what all is happening around him and also does not respond to any stimuli.

A patient can lose his/her consciousness due to many reasons

  • An injury to the head
  • Asphyxia
  • Hypothermia
  • Extreme high or low body temperature (sudden change in temperature)
  • Severe loss of blood
  • Fracture of the skull
  • Infantile convulsions
  • Inhaling or consuming poisonous substances
  • The sudden drop in blood sugar levels – hypoglycemia
  • Sudden rise in blood sugar levels – hyperglycemia
  • Cerebral vascular accident
  • Drug overdose
Caring for an unconscious patient is not an easy task. The caregiver should have knowledge of being unconscious. And about the various aspects of handling such a patient. The challenges are many as the patient is in an immobile state and not alert. This makes the caregiving process all the more difficult. However, in spite of all these challenges.

The process of caregiving can be simple and appropriate with the following steps


Airway maintenance
This is one of the most important aspects of managing an unconscious patient. Proper maintenance of the airway involves the following course of action.
  • Elevate the patient’s head at a 30-degree angle, to avoid aspiration.
  • Position the patient in a lateral or semi prone manner.
  • Perform Chest physiotherapy and auscultation at least every 8 hours.
Protecting accidental falls from the bed
This is one of the most common concerns every caregiver should have. While caring for an unconscious patient. Perform the following steps to prevent accidental falls.
  • Install padded side rails that would prevent the patient from falling off the bed.
  • It is necessary that you talk to your patients while feeding or changing their clothes.
  • Give the patient motivation and speak positively to boost their confidence.
Fluid balance management
Managing the fluid balance of the unconscious patient. It is one of the many important tasks that caregivers should take note of. Assessing their hydration status. Take the following steps will help maintain the fluid balance.
  • Check the urine output and fluid intake of the patient.
  • A skin pinch would help in the assessment of the hydration status.
  • Analyzing the color of urine before disposing of it. It would also give a good idea about their hydration status.
  • It is also important to put the patient on intravenous fluids. If their hydration level is to be poor.
Sensory stimulation
Unconscious patients are often susceptible to develop sensory deprivation. Thus, it becomes necessary to provide sensory stimulation at regular intervals. The following guidelines will help caregivers. To adopt a proper technique for imparting sensory stimulation.
  • Always touch and talk to your patients when you are attending them.
  • You can even give them a sense of daily rhythm. By orienting their sleep and wake pattern according to day and night.
  • It is necessary that you call out the patient by his/her name. And explain to them each procedure every time you follow it.
These steps will help the caregivers give better care to the unconscious patient. The caregiving process can become challenging. But with a little love blended with lots of care, it can make the caregiving journey a lot more rewarding.

Unconscious woman|How to care for an unconscious loved one

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