Prolonged disorders of consciousness following sudden onset brain injury: national clinical guidelines
Prolonged disorders of consciousness following sudden onset brain injury: National clinical guidelines are an updated version of the 2013 guidelines and incorporate guidance on the new legal stance with regards to the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH), and developments in assessment and management
The guidelines offer updated guidance on the diagnosis, assessment, care and management of patients with PDOC. They support doctors, families and health service commissioners to ensure that everyone is aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities.
The guidelines cover:
- Definitions and terminology of prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC)
- Techniques for assessment, diagnosis and review
- Care pathways from acute to long-term management
- The ethical and medico-legal framework for decision-making
- Practical decision-making regarding starting or continuing life-sustaining treatments, including CANH, and management of end-of-life care for PDOC patients
- Service organisation and commissioning.
A range of guidance and tools designed to enhance the practical care and assessment of these patients, including tools and information for their families are available to download from the RCP website. These annexes do not appear in the printed guidelines.