FAQ - Coma
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What is the longest time someone has been in a coma and recovered fully?

Just a personal project I am doing at the moment. What is the longest time that someone has been in a coma and recovered fully? If you can specify how they came to be in their comatose state, that would be great too. =)

A polish railroad worker recovered after 19 years. Ive heard numbers as high as 21 years but the pole is the only one I know of. Poor guy got hit by a train.  (+ info)

What will cause a coma when shot in the heart?

What will cause a coma when shot in the heart or around the heart (pericardium)? Loss of blood pressure? And what will the consequences be, brain damage, mobility impairment?

If you are shot in the heart you will most likely die.

Coma would be induced medically so that they could intubate (put a tube down the trachea for artifical breathing). However with the loss of blood and insuffiency of the pump (the heart) there would not be enough circulating blood to get to the brain. The brain controls ALL bodily functions. With the brain getting fuel you will die.  (+ info)

How can someone in a coma get pneumonia?

My family has a friend, who tried to kill himself this past saturday. He overdosed on pills. He was unconscious that night, and had to put him on Life Support. He has been in a coma since then but on Monday, they took him off it, with him surviving 24 breathes a minute. They discovered later on that he has pneumonia. I was wondering, out of all of this, how could he have got pneumonia?

I'm sorry. He could have aspirated when he was unconscious on Saturday or later. Sometimes people take pills that make them unconscious, but they vomit and it goes from the esophagus (food tube) into the mouth and down the trachea (wind pipe) because they have no gag reflex because of the medications. Sometimes this happens even with saliva. If he was on a ventilator, he still could have aspirated (inhaled into his lungs) either vomit or saliva because even though the tube in the trachea has a balloon that is blown up to prevent this and to deliver oxygen without it leaking out through his mouth, liquid can still get around it. People on ventilators are heavily sedated and have no gag reflex. Also, pneumonia takes a day or two to show up on a chest xray and develop after this happens, because the chemical reaction or bacteria take a while to grow. It is no one's fault and happens. Also, people in his condition, aren't able to cough and clear their secretions like you or I do on a regular basis, so secretions settle and set him up for an infection. Unfortunately there are nosocomial (hospital aquired) infections in the hospital that can be passed from patient to patient which is less likely, however you or I being healthy, would not be likely to develope a pneumonia from it. This is less likely. Thankfully it is usually able to be treated. Take care.  (+ info)

What causes a person to go into a coma if they got shot in the hand?

My friend got shot in the hand and lost alot of blood and now he's in a coma. What caused him to go into a coma just from a shot to the hand? Blood loss? What are the chances of him getting better? Could someone please explain to me please. I'm really worried and scared about this. Serious answers only please.

Blood loss can cause a person to become hypovolemic (loss of fluid) and it probably could. The only way I could see that much blood loss with a GSW to the hand is if it hit the wrist and tore through the radial artery. People have had amputations with very little blood loss due to the bloods ability to clot.
If the hand got infected and caused sepsis then yes I can see them going into a coma. Sepsis is an infection of the blood and can be fatal. If caught early enough it is surviveable.  (+ info)

What usually happens to longterm coma patients if they were to wake up?

Say someone was in a coma going on for six years now and there's no reason to think he might wake up but he doesn't need more than a nurses care to remain stable, would it be common or at least within the realm of possibility for the patient to be brought to a family members house to lower extended hospital costs? Also, is it true that they typically have no control over their bowels upon waking and for how long?

No, it would not be common for a patient like that to be out a long-term care facility. The person would be unable to eat and require tube feedings. They would be incontinent of urine and stool and likely require regular bowel care such as enemas to prevent constipation. They would require regular and frequent repositioning to avoid bedsores. Someone would have to be with the patient at all times.

All that being said, it is not impossible for a patient in this condition to be cared for in a home setting. It would just be very difficult and require extensive preparation.

The chances of someone who has been comatose for six years waking spontaneously is close to zero.  (+ info)

How does someone in a coma have a bowel movement?

I've always wondered how this works. I know that once someone has been in a coma for a while, they are only getting i.v. fluids, but at the start of it - what happens?

Also, what about people who are paralyzed? Do they have to wear Depends?

well I am speaking as a nurse, who takes care of paralyzed and comatose patients.. They have bowel movements the same as a regular person, except they don't go through the pushing routine! It travels and expells the same way! Yes they wear depends/ or diapers, or there would be a huge mess.. Another thing, most of them don't know when the have to go, so depends helps with that as well! It not a big difference, only thing is they have no control over when they go!  (+ info)

How long does it take a coma victim to speak and move?

Lets say this person hasn't been in a coma for long, maybe a week to ten days tops. Would it take them long to speak or move?

It depends on the person and every person is different.

There is no fixed rate of recovery.  (+ info)

What's the treatment for Coma patients to regain use of their body after two weeks?

After being in a Coma for two weeks I need to know the treatment that would be done for patients and how long it would take to regain the ability to speak and move their body regularly.

I can not find this anywhere else and this is important to me plus wouldn't post a question if I wasn't desperate.

That depends on a lot of things. What was the cause of the coma? Stroke? Physical trauma? Drug overdose? Suffocation?

In general, the treatment would be to get the limbs moving, use a walker and / or treadmill, practice kicking a soccer ball, hum a lot, practice making vowel sounds.

There have been people in comas for over 20 YEARS and recover from them, but in their cases it took months for significant improvement.  (+ info)

What's the different from being asleep, in a coma,or being dead?

I know when you are in a coma, you can hear but not responds. The heiress just died that was in a coma for twenty eight years. Why did it take so long before she died?

Sleep is a natural state of bodily rest observed throughout the animal kingdom.

A coma is a profound state of unconsciousness. A comatose person cannot be awakened, fails to respond normally to pain or light, does not have sleep-wake cycles, and does not take voluntary actions.

Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that define living organisms.  (+ info)

How long are you hospitalized after a coma?

I'm writing a movie in which a guy is beat up really badly and goes into a coma for two months. What's the shortest reasonable time they'd let him leave the hospital, assuming he seems ok otherwise? Like two days, or more like two weeks or something?

I'd like it to be as short as possible, but don't want it to seem unrealistic.

It all depends on progression of the patient.. they just don't go... "well your 2 weeks is up.. time to check out" it all depends on the severity of the injuries.. and therapy. Also, depending on the hospital medical coverage has a big say.  (+ info)

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