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Pathophysiology And Treatment Of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome: A Review

Author: Dana Bartlett, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

CE: 3 hours Pharmacology: 0.5 hour
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 2160 reviews

Course Summary

Alcohol withdrawal can be mild and self-limiting but patients can also suffer serious complications and death. Providing care for a patient who is going through alcohol withdrawal is very challenging. Health clinicians with specialized knowledge, including a basic understanding of the pathophysiology of the syndrome, and an ability to make judicious decisions about medication administration are best able to support patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Clinicians knowledgeable about alcohol use and withdrawal need to show flexibility to change their approach to patient care as the clinical condition evolves.

Course Format

Homestudy

Course Syllabus

I.  Introduction

II.  Pathophysiology Of Alcohol Withdrawal

1.   Gamma-aminobutyric Acid

2.   Glutamate

III.  The Physiological Effects Of Alcohol Use

1.   Alcohol Use Disorder

2.   Alcohol Withdrawal: Basic Characteristics

IV.  Clinical Presentation Of Alcohol Withdrawal

1.   Delirium Tremens

2.   Withdrawal Seizures

3.   Alcoholic Hallucinosis

V.  Treatment Of Alcohol Withdrawal

1.   Initial Evaluation

2.   Symptomatic and Supportive Care

VI. Patient Care And Monitoring: Use Of The CIWA-Ar Scale

VII.  Pharmacological Treatment

1.   Benzodiazepines

2.   Dexmedetomidine

3.   Barbiturates

4.   Propofol

5.   Antipsychotics

6.   Anticonvulsants

7.   Muscle Relaxant

8.   Beta-blockers

9.   Ethanol

VIII. Clinical Care Of Alcohol Withdrawal

IX.  Summary

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