Category Archives: Coma

Understanding Severe Brain Injury and Comas

A coma is a prolonged unconscious state in which the patient cannot be awakened. A patient in a coma cannot initiate voluntary activity, and can only respond minimally, at best, to stimuli.

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While it is a serious condition, a coma isn’t necessarily all bad. In fact, doctors sometimes even induce a coma to help with a patient’s healing. A coma can be part of the natural recovery process for a brain injury patient.

The hardest part of a coma is, of course, for the loved ones watching for signs of improvement. They may become anxious for the patient to wake up and frustrated with the doctor for what seems to be a slow recovery.

6 Things You Should Know

If you find yourself in a situation like this — waiting anxiously by the side of a loved one, or frustrated with your physician for not giving you signs of hope — here are a few things to remember: Continue reading

In the Wake of Tragedy: Seven Boating Safety Tips

Many know American singer, songwriter, dancer and actor Usher for his Billboard rankings. Usher’s albums have made him millions of appreciative fans. But after his son  was hit by a jet ski last week and suffered a traumatic brain injury, the artist’s fans began offering their sympathies.

On Friday, July 6, Usher’s 11-year-old stepson, Kyle Glover, was floating on an inner tube on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, GA, when he and a 15-year-old friend were hit on the head by a passing jet ski.

The pair were airlifted to Egelston Hospital in Atlanta, but by the following day, Kyle showed no brain activity and doctors pronounced him brain dead.

NEWS UPDATE: Kyle passed away when his parents agreed to take him off life support, 21 days after the tubing accident. Our condolences go out to his family.

Head Trauma Common in Boating Accidents

Trauma, including brain injury, is the second most common cause of death in boating accidents. According to the 2011 United States Coast Guard (USCG) Recreational Boating Statistics, of 3,081 injuries, 247 involved concussions and 72 involved spinal cord injuries.

Don’t let a delightful day on the water turn to tragedy. Keep these seven important rules in mind next time you go boating:

Continue reading

Understanding Why Brain Injury Can Result in Coma

Brain Injuries Cause ComaA coma can happen because of illness, but it can also result from a severe traumatic brain injury. When injury damages specific parts of the brain, the nervous system cannot send normal signals to the body. This causes the coma, in which a person loses consciousness and does not wake up for a long time. A coma can last for weeks or years, and doctors do not have any way to guess how long the coma will last. Some patients may never wake up from the coma and remain in a persistent vegetative state.

Why Brain Injuries Cause Coma

Not all brain injuries result in coma, but severe brain injuries are generally more likely to cause the condition. Any time someone is unconscious after suffering a traumatic brain injury, there is a chance he or she will not wake up. This might happen because of physical changes like brain swelling. Sometimes, it is caused by chemical changes that occur when an injury interrupts normal brain signals. In addition, when a part of the brain that is important to consciousness suffers damage, the person may not wake up until the area heals.

Physical Changes

When there is physical damage to the brain, coma is a possible side effect. Brain injuries can break the normal structure of a brain. This stops the brain from sending signals to the nervous system the way it should. Depending on the type of injury and the area of the brain that is injured, the brain could lose the ability to keep a person awake, even while it can still keep the body alive. Some physical changes will heal quickly, while others might take a long time. Continue reading

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