FAQ - persistent vegetative state
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What does it feel like to be in a persistent vegetative state? Do you feel pain?

Does it feel like a dream the entire time? Can you hear people like you can when you're in coma?

I don't know what it's like to be in a persistent vegetative state, but I do know as a nurse that you can feel pain. We treat people in comatose, brain dead, or nearly brain dead conditions for pain because you can see alterations in vital signs when painful stimuli are present. You should also understand that being in a coma is different from what people generally refer to as "vegetative state." People in a coma still have many of the basic reflexes intact, but people who present with some brain death are missing those reflexes, such as gag and cough reflexes.  (+ info)

what is the difference between a persistent vegetative state and a coma ?

There are different levels of coma. It depends on the nature and the extent of the injury to the brain.
Like a stage I coma could be from brain swelling that is reversible and when the edema clears the patient will wake up and could have normal brain function. A persistent vegetative state would be like a stage V where there is little or no response to pain or the environment and is irreversible with massive brain tissue death. It could be the result of a stroke also.
Anesthesia, where they put you in a state where you feel no pain and do not respond to commands is a sort of coma. Obviously, it's the safe kind where an anesthesiologist is watching you constantly. If you were to get a concussion, get knocked out, for instance, depending on the severity you may or may not wake up depending on the degree of injury.
Hope this helps.
God bless.  (+ info)

true or false? a patient in a persistent vegetative state sleeps through the night and is awake during the day?

False....If they're in a vegetative state then they're never really awake or asleep.  (+ info)

are people who are in a persistent vegetative state able to think?

Depends, there are two types of vegetative states and varying degrees of each. Some people are completely brain dead, they cannot think or feel and will never be able to again quite literally their consciousness is dead. Other people are just in comas, ie they have active brainwaves, meaning that they are indeed 'thinking' although it wouldn't really be that structured and would be something akin to dreaming. These people are just unconscious and it is possible for them to wake up again someday.  (+ info)

what are the chances for a PVS(persistent vegetative state) patient to wake up completely?

By definition, irrespective of cause, PVS patients are very unlikely to wake up completely. It has occasionally happened however.  (+ info)

Persistent Vegetative State?

does anyone have serious evidence of patients in a vegetative state going back to the way they were before?

I have a friend in this state following 2 strokes and i am curious to know if anyone has personal experience of someone recovering completely?!?!

only one person ever 'came out' of this state but his brain is so damaged that he can not form any new memories...so he only recalls stuff from the past...and every day he wakes up it's like the first day...ever she the movies 50 first dates?..that's him, only he's still bedridden and can not speak very clearly  (+ info)

When a person is in a persistent vegetative state, can that person understand what is going on around them ?

Is he/she aware of what is happening in the environment ? Can he understand and respond to commands ? Are his senses OK?

I don't think medical science has proved anything either way. But I believe that such ppl can sense things. They may not respond, but I think some part of them feels - emotions of their loved ones etc. There's no way to define how or what ppl feel.  (+ info)

In a patient in a vegetative state, what causes posturing?

My friends son is in what I assume a vegetative state, although no one has actually said it. He is unconscious, with this eyes in varying degrees of openness throughout the day. Every several minutes his body stiffens, then relaxes again.

Perhaps some part of his brain is healing and he is dreaming.

Recently I saw a woman come out of a coma or vegetative state after a truly obscene length of time 10 to 20 years. And she was totally coherent.

It is truly Amazing what he can do. I guess is a test of our patience.  (+ info)

Is it possible having intercourse with a person in a coma or persistant vegetative state?

My boyfriend is still alive and well (Thank God), but we were talking about how if we ever ended up in a coma or in vegetative state that we would want to still have sex and if it would even be allowed or possible. Is it even possible to have intercourse or would all the sexual organs be shut down or what?
Would it even be allowed?

Its possible but they are not a lot of fun.  (+ info)

If someone is in an anoxic brain a coma does that mean they're in a 'vegetative state'?

Also if someone is in a coma & showing brain activity does that mean they're in a vegetative state?

A vegetative state is absence of responsiveness and awareness due to overwhelming dysfunction of the cerebral hemispheres, with sufficient sparing of the diencephalon and brain stem to preserve autonomic and motor reflexes and sleep-wake cycles. Patients may have complex reflexes, including eye movements, yawning, and involuntary movements to noxious stimuli but show no awareness of self or environment. Diagnosis is clinical. The vegetative state is only concluded on the above criteria.

The most common causes are traumatic brain injury and diffuse cerebral hypoxia. However, any disorder that results in brain damage can cause a vegetative state. Typically, a vegetative state occurs because the function of the brain stem and diencephalon resumes after coma, but cortical function does not.  (+ info)

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