In a patient with ALOC, laboratory and imaging diagnostic studies should be focused on finding reversible and treatable causes as quickly as possible. Since the causes of ALOC are broad, selected diagnostic studies should be performed based on the history and physical examination and likely diagnoses.
A point-of-care glucose level can be obtained to assess for hypoglycemia. Alternatively, obtaining a point-of-care blood gas with electrolytes (including sodium and glucose levels) can be an expedient method for assessing the patient’s acid-base status and to determine whether hypoxemia, hypercarbia, or electrolyte derangements are present.
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