Home Disorders Brain Disorders Coma



Coma is a state of unconsciousness in which a patient cannot react with the surrounding environment. A coma patient cannot fails to respond normally to pain or light, doesn't have sleep-wake cycles and doesn't take voluntary actions. The brain wave activity in a comatose person is very different from that of a normal sleeping person. You can wake up a sleeping person but you can't wake a person in a coma.

Many people recover fully with physical and mental functioning when they arises from a coma. A coma condition is difficult to understand because people sometimes jokingly use the words coma and comatose. Coma patients have reflex activities that mimic conscious activities.

Causes of Coma

  • Coma causes due to a severe injury to the head that hurts the brain.
  • The brain damage causes to a lack of oxygen for too long which leads to the coma stste.
  • Loss of blood from  the brain causes to the  swelling or no blood flow to a major part of the brainstem can effect the a coma.
  • The gigh level of blood sugar can causes to the coma.
  • Encephalitis and meningitis are infections which causes to inflammation of the brain, spinal cord or the tissues that surround the brain which can result in a coma.
  • Sone toxin like carbon momoxides overdoses causes to the brain damage and coma.

Symptoms of Coma

The common sign and symptoms of the coma includes

  • Inability to be aroused to consciousness.
  • Lack of self awareness.
  • Closed eyes.
  • Lack of a sleep-wake cycle.
  • No response to painful stimuli, except for reflex movements.
  • Lack of suffering and Impaired breathing.
  • No responses of limbs except for reflex movements.

Diagnosis of Coma

Some tests are used to diagnosied to coma.

  • Arterial Blood Gas - This lab test lab tests measures levels of oxygen and CO2 in the blood to determine breathing efficiency.
  • Electrolytes - This lab test measures levels of electrolytes in the blood to determine which is necessary for body functions.
  • EEG & X- ray, CT, MRI scan - Thes two methods are also used to in diagnosis of coma.
  • Angiogram - An angiogram shows the image of the arteries and veins in the head and neck.
  • Rancho Los Amigos Scale - The Rancho Los Amigos Scale is used to determine a level of cognitive functioning.

Treatment of Coma

Treatment varies depending on the cause.

  • A coma is a medical emergency in which first attention is given to maintaining respiration and circulation.
  • Help with breathing, administration of fluids and blood, and other supportive care is necessary.
  • In some cases surgery is require to relieve the pressure due to brain swelling.
  • Medications used to decrease brain swelling, treat infections, and prevent seizures. It prevent the brain swelling.
  • To provide life sustaining medical care to the petiant the healthcare staff provide them many tubes, wires, and pieces of medical equipment attached to the person with a brain injury.

Complications of Coma

A coma generally lasts only a few days or weeks.  Many people slowly recover, and others enter a vegetative state or die. Complications develop during a coma include pressure sores, bladder infections and pneumonia

What is the prognosis of Coma?

Prognosis depends on the cause of the coma. The cause of coma may be a catastrophic brain hemorrhage without hope for considerable recovery. People arise from a coma with a combination of physical, intellectual and psychological difficulties that need special attention. About 5% to 10% of all coma patients are unable of conscious actions and end up vegetative which causes to the  prolonged coma.