Neurology and Neurosurgery

Canonical Reading Material for the Exam Candidate

The unavoidable reading material for this topic includes the following textbook chapters and papers:

Oh's Intensive Care manual:

  • Chapter 49   (pp. 549) Disorders  of  consciousness  by Balasubramanian  Venkatesh
  • Chapter 50   (pp. 560) Status  epilepticus  by Helen  I  Opdam
  • Chapter 51   (pp. 568)  Acute  cerebrovascular  complications by Bernard  Riley  and  Thearina  de  Beer
  • Chapter 52   (pp. 580)  Cerebral  protection by Victoria  Heaviside  and  Michelle  Hayes
  • Chapter 53  (pp. 591)  Brain  death by Martin  Smith
  • Chapter 57  (pp. 617)  Neuromuscular diseases in intensive care by George  Skowronski and Manoj K  Saxena
  • Chapter 78 (pp. 795) Spinal injuries by Sumesh Arora and Oliver J Flower

Reading the  Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines is also unavoidable.

Walker and O'Brien's 1990 paper "Neurological examination of the unconscious patient" is an excellent brief synopsis; it draws its inspiration from the 1980 edition of Plum and Posner's "The Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma", which is essentially the Old Testament for neurological examination of the critically ill. The time-poor candidate will probably be unable to make use of this textbook, but the paper needs to be read through at least once before the exam. The hypothetical exam candidate with infinite time resources may also benefit from exploring The Comatose Patient by Eelco Wijdicks (2014).

Summaries and discussions of neurological and neurosurgical topics from Life in the Fast Lane are made available as a list of links in the Resources section.