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SpecialtyEmergency medicine

Obtundation refers to less than full alertness (altered level of consciousness), typically as a result of a medical condition or trauma.[1]

There is a huge range of potential causes including head injury, interruption of blood circulation, impaired oxygenation or carbon dioxide toxicity (hypercapnia), central nervous system (CNS) infections, drug intoxication or withdrawal, post-seizure state, hypothermia, and metabolic derangements such as hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, and hypercalcaemic crisis.[2]

The root word, obtund, means "dulled or less sharp" (cf. obtuse angle).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Panayiotopoulos, C. P. (2010). A Clinical Guide to Epileptic Syndromes and their Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 76–77. ISBN 9781846286445. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  2. ^ In Wells, B. G.; in DiPiro, J. T.; in Schwinghammer, T. L.; in DiPiro, C. V. (2017). Pharmacotherapy handbook.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of obtundation at Wiktionary