By: Goodness M.C
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.
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.
Comas seldom last 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 Coma, people who are in a persistent vegetative state for more than one year are extremely unlikely to awaken.
The signs and symptoms of Coma commonly include:
reflexes, such as pupils not responding to light
No responses of limbs, except for reflex movements
No response to painful stimuli, except for reflex movements
When to see a doctor
Coma is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical care.
Many types of problems can cause Coma. Some examples are:
TraumaTic brain injuries.
TraumaTic brain injuries, often caused by traffic collisions or acts of violence, are common
Causes of Comas.
Reduced or interrupted blood supply to the brain (Stroke), which may be caused by blocked arteries or a burst blood vessel, can result in Coma.
Tumors. Tumors in the brain or brainstem can cause Coma.
Diabetes. In people with Diabetes, blood sugar levels that become too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (Hypoglycemia) can cause a Stroke or Coma.
Lack of oxygen. People who have been rescued from drowning or those who have been resuscitated after a Heart attack may not awaken due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
Infections. Infections such as Encephalitis and Meningitis cause swelling (inflammation) of the brain, spinal cord or the tissues that surround the brain. Severe cases of these infections can result in brain damage or Coma.
Seizures. Ongoing seizures may lead to Coma.
Toxins. Exposure to toxins, such as carbon monoxide or lead, can cause brain damage and Coma.
Drugs and alcohol. Overdosing on drugs or alcohol can result in Coma.
Although many people gradually recover from Coma, others enter a vegetative state or die. Some people who recover from a Coma may have major or minor disabilities.
Complications may develop during Coma, including pressure sores, bladder infections and other problems.
[8:59 AM, 9/14/2020] Doc Max sTaN: PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Coma is an emergency medical condition. If you are with a person who develops signs and symptoms of Coma, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
When you arrive at the hospital, emergency room staff will need as much information as possible from family and friends about what happened to the affected person before the Coma.
On the way to the hospital, you may be asked the following questions:
Did the Coma start abruptly or gradually?
Were there problems with vision, Dizziness or numbness beforehand?
Does the affected person have any history of Diabetes, seizures or Strokes?
Did you notice any changes in the affected person's health in the time leading up to the Coma, such as a Fever or worsening headache?
Did you notice any changes in the affected person's ability to function in the time leading up to the Coma, such as frequent falls or confusion?
Did the affected person use any prescription or nonprescription drugs?
TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
Because people in Coma can't express themselves, doctors must rely on physical clues and information provided by families and friends. Be prepared to provide information about the affected person, including:
Events leading up to the Coma, such as vomiting or headaches.
Details about how the affected person lost consciousness, including whether it occurred suddenly or over time.
Any noticeable signs or symptoms prior to losing consciousness.
The affected person's medical history, including other conditions he or she may have had in the past, such as Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attacks
Recent changes in the affected person's health or behavior.
The affected person's drug use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as unapproved medications or illegal, recreational drugs.