1 x 2-hour lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial fortnightly
1 1 of HLTH1004, HLTH1210, MMED1005
2 1 of PARA1008, HLTH1304, HLTH1207
3 22.5 units of level one PARA topics
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2 and 3)
Enrolment not permitted
HLTH2201 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Advanced Life Support.
Assignment(s); Examination (60%)
Topic description

Care of the unconscious or semiconscious patient in the pre-hospital setting is a complex and demanding role. It requires a sound theoretical comprehension of neurological physiology, aetiology and pathophysiology of the many neurological disorders and a high level of competence in patient assessment. Management of the neurologically impaired patient demands a challenging level of skill, patience and judgement.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide the student with the key concepts of assessment, care and management of a patient presenting with a neurological disorder in the emergency setting. It explores the aetiology, pathophysiology, presentation and treatment of the major disorders. The topic is divided into the following modules:

  • Advanced nervous system anatomy and physiology
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Brain and spinal cord trauma
  • Paediatric neurological emergencies
  • Special senses
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Pharmacology affecting the nervous system and pain management
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Describe in detail the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system
  2. Distinguish the causes of disturbed behaviours associated with organic brain disease, acute trauma, mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse
  3. Describe the aetiology, pathophysiology and presentation of cerebrovascular disease and seizure related disorders
  4. Describe the dysfunction of the special senses, specifically sight and hearing, and their application to pre-hospital patient care
  5. Distinguish a patient with a traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and discuss the pathophysiology and consequences of these injuries
  6. Identify and describe neuromuscular disorders which are encountered within the community
  7. Recognise the Paediatric Patient with neurological compromise and describe the pathophysiology of the neurological disorders affecting paediatric patients
  8. Discuss the physiology of pain and formulate appropriate pain control strategies
  9. Identify common drug groups used in the community for the management of neurological disorders and deduce the possible influence these drugs will have on a patient’s emergency presentation
  10. Understand the implications and rationale of and for emergency management of patients with a variety of neurological conditions, acute or chronic or life threatening
  11. Formulate an advanced life support treatment plan for a neurological emergency andjustify the choice of that treatment