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coma

Overview of coma

A coma is a state of prolonged unconsciousness that can be caused by a variety of problems ? traumatic head injury, stroke, brain tumor, drug or alcohol intoxication, or even an underlying illness, such as diabetes or an infection.

A coma is a medical emergency. Swift action is needed to preserve life and brain function. Doctors normally order a battery of blood tests and a brain CT scan to try to determine what's causing the coma so that proper treatment can begin.

A coma seldom lasts longer than several weeks. People who are unconscious for a longer period of time may transition to a persistent vegetative state.

Depending on the cause of a coma, people who are in a persistent vegetative state for more than one year are extremely unlikely to awaken.

When to see doctor for coma :

A coma is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical care.

Treatment for the coma

The first priority of treatment is to preserve brain life and function. Antibiotics may be given right away, in case there is an infection in the brain. Medications for treating the underlying condition will be administered if the cause of the coma is known, as in the case of a drug overdose. Surgery may be required to reduce swelling in the brain.

A team of medical professionals will work with the comatose patient once they are stabilized. They?ll work to prevent infections, bedsores, and contractures of the muscles. The team will also make sure to provide the patient with balanced nutrition during their coma.

FAQ

What causes a person to go into a coma ?

A coma is a state of prolonged unconsciousness that can be caused by a variety of problems ? traumatic head injury, stroke, brain tumor, drug or alcohol intoxication, or even an underlying illness, such as diabetes or an infection. A coma is a medical emergency.

Can people hear in a coma ?

They won't normally respond to sound or pain, or be able to communicate or move voluntarily. Additionally a person in a coma fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light, or sound; lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle and, does not initiate voluntary actions, being unable to consciously feel, speak, hear, or move.

How long can you be in a coma ?

A coma usually only lasts a few weeks, during which time the person may start to gradually wake up and gain consciousness, or progress into a different state of unconsciousness called a vegetative state or minimally conscious state.

What happens when you wake up from a coma ?

People who do wake up from a coma usually come round gradually. They may be very agitated and confused to begin with. Some people will make a full recovery and be completely unaffected by the coma. Others will have disabilities caused by the damage to their brain.

Is being in a coma like sleeping ?

A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness. During a coma, a person is unresponsive to his or her environment. The person is alive and looks like he or she is sleeping. However, unlike in a deep sleep, the person cannot be awakened by any stimulation, including pain.

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