Home » Topic » Coma
 

 
What is a coma?
How does it occur?
What are the symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
How is it treated?
 
Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00 +0530
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Checked by :
 
  • What is a coma?
    Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00
    A coma is a profound or deep state of unconsciousness. The affected individual is alive but is not able to react or respond to life around him. Coma may occur as an expected progression or complication of an underlying illness, or as a result of an event such as head injury. Muscle jerking may occur, but those in a coma do not move on purpose, even in response to pain.
  • How does it occur?
    Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00
    Coma occurs as a result of an illness or injury that causes serious damage to the central nervous system (CNS). The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Coma may result from:
  • accidents or blows to the head
  • bleeding within the brain
  • infections
  • seizures
  • tumours
  • pressure on a part of the brain
  • drug or alcohol overdose
  • stroke
  • lack of oxygen, as may occur in cardiac arrest, severe lung disease, or carbon monoxide poisoning
  • severe imbalance of chemicals in the body
  • other conditions affecting the function of the CNS, such as a period of very low blood pressure during which the brain does not get enough blood flow.
  • What are the symptoms?
    Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00
    Before coma sets in there may be some warning signals. These include:

  • weakness
  • lack of energy
  • restlessness
  • decline in the ability to think and reason
  • seizures.

    Other symptoms will depend on the underlying cause of the coma.
  • How is it diagnosed?
    Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00
    Coma is diagnosed by a physical exam and additional information from others about the events surrounding the onset of the coma. Some tests are needed to find out what caused the coma. A coma that came on suddenly suggests a different cause than one that came on slowly. The health care provider will also need information about the person's medical history and any medication he is taking. To help determine the cause of the coma, the health care provider may ask for tests that could include:
  • blood tests
  • a brain scan, such as a CT (computed tomography) scan
  • a brain wave test, called an electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • a spinal tap, a procedure in which spinal fluid is withdrawn through a needle and examined.

    Glasgow coma scale:

    It provides a standardised method of assessing a comatose patient and eliminates the use of ambiguous and easily misinterpreted terms such as unconscious and semicomatose. Additional assessment data should include evaluation of the gag and corneal reflexes. In the absence of gag reflex, regurgitation and aspiration are potential problems.
  • How is it treated?
    Thu,26 Dec 2002 05:30:00
    Treatment will depend on the cause of the coma. Some people who are in a very deep coma may need intensive care, including a ventilator to help them breathe, medications, and food and fluid given through the veins or through a feeding tube. Some people recover fully after a coma, some recover but have permanent brain damage, and some die without regaining consciousness. Others live on in a state in which they sleep and wake, but do not recover awareness or the ability to interact.
  • ................... Advertisement ...................

       

    FAQ

    ASK OUR EXPERTS

    Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
    Choose Topic

    Latest stories

    Swine Flu Kills 11 In Nagpur, 4 In Indore: Tips To Prevent Swine Flu

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:00:13 IST
    As many as 11 people died of swine flu in the Nagpur division in the past two days, taking the death toll 73 for the year, whereas four deaths were reported in Indore in a matter of past 24 hours.

    Breathing Dirty Air May Lead To Kidney Failure: Study

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:00:58 IST
    Air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease, which can lead to the failure of the organ, a study has warned.

    Sexual Touch At An Early Age May Lead To Early Puberty

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:00:02 IST
    German researchers found that women who were touched on their genitals at a young age experience changes in their brain and that touch triggers puberty.

    Moderate Physical Activity For A Healthy Heart, Longer Life

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:00:23 IST
    A recent study concludes that 1 in every 12 global deaths could be prevented, if all of us adhered to at-least 30 minutes of exercise each day, or 2.5 hours in week. Read on to know moderate exercising could help prevent heart disease and help you live longer.

    11 Infants Being Treated For The E-Coli Infection At PGIMER

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:00:42 IST
    The PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) battles against the outbreak of E-Coli infection in its Neonatal ICU. 1 infants are getting treatment for this infection at the moment, hospital sources reveal.