Hannah GrantFollow

Publication Date

Winter 12-3-2022


School of Nursing


Nursing (B.S.N.)


traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic amnesia, memory, posttraumatic confusion state, orientation, agitation


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Critical Care | Critical Care Nursing | Medical Anatomy | Medical Neurobiology | Neurology | Neurosciences


A period known as post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) often follows a traumatic brain injury (TBI). PTA is characterized by anterograde and retrograde amnesia, confusion, disorientation, and agitation. The duration and severity of PTA is a key indicator of the long-term prognosis after a TBI, so proper assessment and nursing care of a PTA patient is crucial. TBIs range from mild to severe, but primarily affect the fronto-temporal lobes. In PTA, both neural lesions and white matter damage within the parahippocampal region can cause PTA. A nurse must perform a thorough assessment of a TBI patient, but, since PTA is a key indicator of a TBI, a nurse must be familiar with the PTA assessment scales, particularly when comparing the Westmead Post-Traumatic Amnesia Scale (WPTAS) and the Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test (GOAT). Finally, multi-disciplinary care of a TBI patient within PTA patient must include evidence-based pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments, nursing considerations, nutritional considerations, physical and occupational therapy, and psychosocial implications.