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Search Health Information    Loss of Consciousness (Unconsciousness)

Loss of Consciousness (Unconsciousness)

When a person experiences a loss of consciousness, he or she is neither awake nor aware of the external environment. Loss of consciousness often is described as being "knocked out."

Attempts to arouse an unconscious person to an alert state may not be successful. The person may not respond at all or may respond with moans or nonpurposeful movements.

A loss of consciousness for longer than 60 seconds needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Any loss of consciousness after a head injury, even if only for a short time, requires immediate evaluation by a doctor.

Current as of: June 4, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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