A 3D illustration shows brain neurons glowing with electrical signals.

3 Facts About Brain Activity During Coma

When a loved one is dealing with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a resulting coma, it can be challenging for everyone involved. Family members will need to consider which medical options to explore and what a recovery will look like. A deep coma patient may require lifetime hospital care, while a patient in a vegetative state may be released to the family for home care. In circumstances where negligence contributed to the injury, the decision to file a lawsuit may further increase questions. Learning about brain function and understanding brain activity can help you advocate for both a patient’s health and legal rights.

Has someone you know suffered from a coma related to traumatic brain injury but you don’t know how to advocate for them? Getting the facts from a respected source is a good place to start. The attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center are experienced in this specialized topic and available to provide information to help you understand brain activity during a coma.

3 Facts About Coma Brain Activity

When someone is in a coma, they cannot interact with their environment. The brain is still working, however, and the degree of brain activity varies from patient to patient. New tools for mapping brain activity have helped doctors illuminate what is happening inside the brain, which informs their treatment and care.

  • The brain reacts when the body does not. To treat traumatic brain injury, physicians first evaluate signs of electrical impulses leaving the brain in response to external stimuli. Research using electroencephalograph (EEG) revealed 15% of patients in coma showed brain activity patterns similar to healthy study participants, despite their non-responsive condition.
  • Brain activity related to sound may help predict recovery speed. A 2019 study recorded patient brain activity on the first and second days of coma. Patients whose responses improved over a 48-hour period were more likely to awake in a shorter period of time.
  • Brain activity levels provide long term prognosis. A year after injury, 44% of patients whose brains were reactive to stimuli were able to take care of themselves for at least eight hours, compared to 14% of those whose brains did not respond.

Advancements in measuring brain activity are timely in response to a growing number of TBI and coma injuries.

A husband sits beside his wife's hospital bed while she is in a coma. Brain activity during a coma can reveal interesting insight.

Coma and Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

A 2014 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted the need for more attention to this growing problem:

  • Age-adjusted rates of TBI-related emergency room visits increased by 54% from 2006-2014

The numbers continue to rise. Today, the agency reports:

  • 5 million individuals suffer a brain injury each year, ranging from mild concussions to severe head trauma
  • Nearly 3 million patients visited emergency rooms, hospitals and doctors for TBI-related complaints
  • 5+ million people in the U.S. currently require prolonged hospitalization or long term care due to their injury

The high cost of treatment, housing, and other expenses can be overwhelming to anyone caring for a coma patient or someone with TBI. In cases of negligence, these expenses can be offset by a legal judgment. Lack of knowledge keeps many people from exercising their rights in court, and the Brain Injury Law Center would like to help change that.

TBI Law Firm in Hampton

Has someone important to you suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another’s negligence and you want to know if he or she is entitled to compensation under the law?

The experienced attorneys at the Brain Injury Law Center can help you seek justice. We offer both knowledge and experience in the complex issues surrounding TBI and coma litigation and will assist you in determining your best course of action. We invite you to schedule a free case review and get the answers you’re looking for. Call us today at (757) 244-7000.


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