Coma is a state of prolonged loss of consciousness. It can have a variety of causes, including traumatic head injury, stroke, brain tumor, or drug or alcohol intoxication. A coma may even be caused by an underlying illness, such as diabetes or an infection. Coma is a medical emergency.
It can result from injury to the brain, such as a severe head injury or stroke. A coma can also be caused by severe alcohol poisoning or a brain infection (encephalitis). People with diabetes could fall into a coma if their blood glucose levels suddenly became very low (hypoglycaemia) or very high (hyperglycaemia).
Within six hours of coma onset those patients who show eye opening have almost a one in five chance of achieving a good recovery whereas those who do not have a one in 10 chance. Those who show no motor response have a 3% chance of making a good recovery whereas those who show flexion have a better than 15% chance.
A coma rarely lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks. Some patients may regain a degree of awareness after persistent vegetative state. Others may remain in that state for years or even decades. The most common cause of death for someone in a persistent vegetative state is infection, such as pneumonia.
The person's eyes will be closed and they'll appear to be unresponsive to their environment. They won't normally respond to sound or pain, or be able to communicate or move voluntarily, and basic reflexes, such as coughing and swallowing, will be greatly reduced.
Can Your Loved One Hear You? During a coma, the individual is unconscious, meaning they are unable to respond to any sounds. However, the brain may still be able to pick up on sounds from loved ones. In fact, some studies suggest talking and touching a loved one while they are in a coma may help them recover.
They may be able to breathe on their own, although some people require a machine to help them breathe. Over time, the person may start to gradually regain consciousness and become more aware. Some people will wake up after a few weeks, while others may go into a vegetative state or minimally conscious state.
Yet many people who have recovered from comas report dreams into which something of the outside world penetrated. Others recall nightmares that seemed to go on and on. Whether they dream or not probably depends on the cause of the coma.
People in a coma will not age like conscious people living life. Muscles weaken & emaciate. The damaged part of the brain might deteriorate as a result of inflammation to the area.
A coma doesn't usually last longer than several weeks. People who are unconscious for a longer time might transition to a lasting vegetative state, known as a persistent vegetative state, or brain death.
Typically, a coma does not last more than a few days or couple of weeks. In some rare cases, a person might stay in a coma for several weeks, months or even years. Depending on what caused the person to go into a coma, some patients are able to return to their normal lives after leaving the hospital.
Usually, coma patients have their eyes closed and cannot see what happens around them. But their ears keep receiving sounds from the environment. In some cases, the brains of coma patients can process sounds, for example the voice of someone speaking to them .
Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and will not respond to voices, other sounds, or any sort of activity going on nearby. The person is still alive, but the brain is functioning at its lowest stage of alertness. You can't shake and wake up someone who is in a coma like you can someone who has just fallen asleep.
More commonly, people remember things that never happened. It's hard to characterize the different mental experiences that people have while in a coma. Some of them may be dreams, others are hallucinations.
The vast majority continue to be kept alive via hydration and nutrition delivered through a feeding tube.
Annie Shapiro (1913–2003) was a Canadian apron shop owner who was in a coma for 29 years because of a massive stroke and suddenly awakened in 1992. Apart from the patients in the true story Awakenings, Shapiro was the longest a person has been in a coma like state and woken up.
Because patients who are in a coma can't urinate on their own, they will have a rubber tube called a catheter inserted directly into their bladder to remove the urine.
When someone is in a coma, they cannot interact with their environment. The brain is still working, however, and the degree of brain activity varies from patient to patient. New tools for mapping brain activity have helped doctors illuminate what is happening inside the brain, which informs their treatment and care.
Coma is a state of consciousness that is similar to deep sleep, except no amount of external stimuli (such as sounds or sensations) can prompt the brain to become awake and alert. A person in a coma can't even respond to pain.
Even though those in a persistent vegetative state lose their higher brain functions, other key functions such as breathing and circulation remain relatively intact. Spontaneous movements may occur, and the eyes may open in response to external stimuli. Individuals may even occasionally grimace, cry, or laugh.
Identify the 4 stages of coma – How long does coma last?
People in a coma are completely unresponsive. They do not move, do not react to light or sound and cannot feel pain.
Familiar Voices And Stories Speed Coma Recovery
Patients in comas may benefit from the familiar voices of loved ones, which may help awaken the unconscious brain and speed recovery, according to research from Northwestern Medicine and Hines VA Hospital.
A state of complete unconsciousness with no eye-opening is called coma. A state of complete unconsciousness with some eye-opening and periods of wakefulness and sleep is called the vegetative state (VS).