Background: There are no standards of care to guide the selection of rehabilitation assessment and treatment procedures for patients with disorders of consciousness. Recently, consensus-based recommendations for management of patients in the vegetative and minimally conscious states have been developed and disseminated in neurology and neurorehabilitation. This is an important first step toward achieving evidence-based guidelines of care.
Objective: Using a Grand Rounds format, we illustrate the application of consensus-based diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment recommendations in a patient who sustained severe traumatic brain injury with prolonged alteration in consciousness. After discussing the salient features of the case, we summarize the basic tenets of clinical care for this population.