AEIOUTIPS Mnemonic DDx for Altered Mental Status

Have you ever taken care of a pt who had an altered mental status (AMS)? Patients with an altered mental status (or ALOC)are among the toughest to assess since there is no classic, “one size fits all” presentation.

The clinical presentation is often obscure, which makes recognizing changes in mental status a challenging endeavor. There are certain underlying pathophysiological conditions that can cause AMS. This is one of the largest differential diagnoses you may encounter in the ED, EMS or hospital setting. 

1-START WITH THE ABCS, IV, O2, ✔️skins & 12 lead 🖤💙🖤

2-ASSESS the pt & extrapolate info from the family (i.e. med list) 💊

3-GET labs: ISTATs, & venous blood gas (VBG) 💉

4-Use AEIOUTIPS mnemonic to help w/DDx

5-Listen to emergency trauma mama’s new podcast to review a super interesting case study 😲💪🏻💯🤗

About the Author
I am an experienced trauma nurse who has seen a lot of super tragic and gnarly things. On the flip side, I’ve have seen and done a lot of amazing things in my 20 years of nursing as well. I’ve saved lives for a living and I have had the privilege and the honor of holding patients hands as they take their last breath. I have seen SO many patients and their loved ones in their most fragile moments. I am proud of my profession, and for the fact that I have fought so valiantly to be here. Sometimes nurses get burnt out, but I have been blessed to be at the bedside all of my career. I have earned multiple degrees and certifications in nursing. I am the nurse you want at your bedside when you’re critically injured and dying. I put my blood, sweat and tears into being clinically astute & relevant. This blog is to help new nurses, nursing students, paramedics, experienced nurses, or whomever comes across my blogs path and think it is intriguing, educational or inspiring to them. In this career, we are all here to share and help one another grow. I believe in building others up, so they can reach the next level, whatever their goal may be. Carpe Diem & ENJOY!

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