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Key Information About Coma

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Coma is also known as persistent vegetative state. It is a profound state of unconsciousness.

The term ‘coma’, has its roots in the Greek word κῶμα, which means deep sleep. It was used in the Hippocratic corpus (Epidemica).

Most comas end with eye opening and regaining of consciousness; however, 10 percent of patients who open their eyes fail to regain consciousness.

A fully awake patient has a Glasgow Coma Score of 15. A person who is dead has a Glasgow Coma Scale of 3.

People may come out of a coma with physical, intellectual, and psychological problems. Some people may remain in a coma for years or even decades.

Richard Hanson, 66, who spent 35 days in a coma while being treated for coronavirus at King's Mill Hospital, in Sutton in Ashfield, returned home on June 4 2020.

He was also treated for pneumonia and kidney failure. He was in the hospital for 60 days.

Jean-Pierre Adams, a European soccer player who had been in a coma for nearly four decades after a botched medical procedure, died in 2021.

Mr Wallis was 19 years old when he and a friend, who was driving, were in an automobile accident that left him in a coma.

He spent nearly two decades in a coma before waking up and regaining his ability to speak.

Types

Toxic-metabolic encephalopathy

Anoxic brain injury

Persistent vegetative state

Locked-in syndrome

Brain death

Medically induced

Causes

Coma is usually caused by injury to the brain or the central nervous system. Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can result in coma.

Hypoxia, infection, toxins and drug overdose are other known causes of coma.

Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria, can lead to coma.

CT Scan Indicating Brain Injury

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Symptoms

Pupils not responding to light, lack of response to painful stimuli, closed eyes and lack of response of limbs are common symptoms of coma.

Prognosis

Generally coma is temporary. It rarely lasts more than four weeks.

After emerging from a coma prognosis is varied and typically depends upon the cause of the coma and the severity of the damage.

For those who eventually recover, recovery is usually gradual. Many patients have recovered completely.

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Some need lifelong physical and occupational therapy, while others may recover only basic function.

Ventilator

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Treatment

Coma is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention.

The goal of treatment is to prevent further physical and neurological damage.

Physical therapy may be administered to prevent bone, joint, or muscle deformities.

Respiration and circulation is monitored and maintained, using intubation and ventilation.

Surgery is performed in cases of haemorrhage. Antibiotics are used to treat infection.

Over time, with the help of therapists, many individuals who have been in coma have made good progress.

They may not be exactly like how they were before slipping into coma, but they are doing many things and enjoying life.

Prevention

One of the leading causes of coma is traffic accidents, so it is important to follow traffic and safety laws.

Eat healthy, natural food. Sleep for at least seven hours, during night hours. Do yoga daily. Never use tobacco products.

Avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Obey Traffic Rules

key-information-about-coma

A Person Who Woke up From Coma Describes What It Was Actually Like

I spent eight days in a coma last year after a particularly traumatic surgery, my waking thoughts were wondering if I had died or made it.

I couldn't open my eyes, and I was on a medical air mattress, so I felt like I was floating; this lead me to think that I had died, and I remember thinking it wasn't so bad and wondering if my dad would come find me.

Once I realized that I was still alive, I thought I had been injured fighting in a war and worried that my wife might not know I was still alive. Trying to communicate with the nurses while intubated and drugged was very difficult.

What I learned later from my wife is that she was there the whole time and while I was fighting against the doctors and nurses, I would immediately calm down and cooperate when she held my hand and sang to me.

A Miracle

"In the coma I thought I was in a very long, weird dream. I saw a green light and spiritual things and I had a conversation with God. I was flying and I flew to Malaysia at one point.

After a month I had a cardiac arrest and they said I actually died for five minutes.

When I woke up in March, my consultants said to me, 'You are literally our miracle. You will be talked about for years to come because you shouldn't be alive,' said YouTube star Grace Victory.

Summary

  • Coma is a profound state of unconsciousness.
  • Hyperglycemia can cause coma.
  • Lackof response to painful stimuli is a symptom of coma.
  • Comais a medical emergency.
  • Manypeople who have been in coma have recovered and are leading normal life.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Srikanth R

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