Unilateral neglect (UN) is a disorder associated primarily with right-brain damage; it causes individuals to behave as if the contralesional half of their world has become unimportant or has simply ceased to exist. This is the first known case study to describe and measure UN caused by an infectious process, meningoencephalitis. The patient was immune compromised as a result of antirejection drugs following a kidney and pancreas transplant, as well as from a baseline vulnerability common to patients with hemodialysis. She was reassessed serially during hemodialysis treatments over 12 months and demonstrated improvement in some measures of UN but not in others. UN is a recognized nursing diagnosis and can be assessed, treated, and researched by nurses. Neuroscience nurses need to better understand and investigate UN to improve their own practice and the practice of other specialties.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Rick Jepson, RN ASN, at Richard.Jepson@imail.org . He is an RN supervisor in inpatient dialysis at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, Provo, UT.