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13-06-2016

Coma Crisis - When Sleeping Beauty Reverses Roles

What is a coma?

A comatose condition occurs when someone is unconscious and unresponsive. Contrary to popular belief when one is in a coma they are not just sleeping deeply. The patient can't respond to sight, sound or activity because the brain is operating at the lowest and most minimal functions. The cause of comas can be diverse and include a wide range of conditions like, severe brain infections, acute head injuries, major seizures, strokes (bleeding and swelling on the brain) and even overdoses. There are many different kinds of comas, for instance a locked-in state can be reversible, but a persistent vegetative state means the patient is breathing and circulation is normal but there's very little brain activity. Sometimes, in a case of trauma where an accident has happened and the brain is injured, a medically induced coma can help stop the brain swelling and it reduces the chance of internal bleeding.

Can people wake up from a coma?

It all depends. In the case of anoxic brain injury, where the brain has been starved of oxygen perhaps from a heart attack or accident, patients can wake up, but brain cells can die due to lack of oxygen, which will impair all motor functions.
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