You’ve seen this one in the movies. It’s amazing that people can go into a prolonged state of unconsciousness for weeks, even months only to regain full consciousness and activity. As we all know, a coma state of unconsciousness where a person is unresponsive and cannot be woken.
In this article, you will understand why it’s important to talk to a person in a coma among other things.
What Causes Coma?
When a coma happens, it helps to think ‘brain’. The brain is almost always involved. Injury to the brain in form of trauma, an infection, or a stroke can cause coma. Severe alcohol poisoning can equally cause coma. Many conditions causing comatose presentations fall into these categories.
A chronic disease especially implicated in a coma is diabetes. Very high blood levels of sugar (hyperglycemia) and very low blood levels of sugar (hypoglycemia) are equally responsible.
So, What Happens In A Coma?
Again, think ‘brain’. Brain activity is reduced to a level only enough to maintain life. Some people can breathe on their own, others can’t. They won’t normally respond to sound or pain or be able to communicate or move voluntarily, and basic reflexes, such as coughing and swallowing, will be greatly reduced.
A person in a coma is usually managed in the Intensive Care Unit(ICU) where they ensure that the basic body functions like breathing and heartbeats are maintained. The underlying cause of the coma is also managed accordingly. Of course, they are also in charge of their feeding and intermittent exercising to prevent joint stiffness.
What To Do For A Person In Coma?
It’s difficult to see a loved one in a state of ‘indecision between life and death’. People have different accounts of their experiences during a coma.
When visiting someone in a coma, it helps to:
- Announce who you are when you arrive
- Talk to them about your day as you normally would – be aware that everything you say in front of them might be heard
- Show them your love and support – even just sitting and holding their hand or stroking their skin can be a great comfort.
Many medical studies tell us that people in a coma need continuous sensual stimulation for recovery. Hence, holding their hands and talking to or praying with them helps. Spray their favorite fragrance and play their best songs too.
The next time someone faints…
How Long Should A Coma Last?
This depends on several factors. Some include the severity and cause of their brain injury, their age, level of care received, and how long they’ve been in a coma. Most times, a coma lasts only a few weeks and the recovery is often gradual.
The truth remains that there is no single best measure of how long a coma will take. One can only do the best and hope for a great outcome.