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Coma Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is coma?

Coma is characterized as prolonged unconsciousness caused due to many problems such as alcohol or drug intoxication, brain tumor, stroke, traumatic head injury or underlying diseases for example diabetes. More specifically, it is a medical emergency. Prompt action is required in order to preserve brain function and life. For making a treatment plan for coping coma, doctors typically conduct brain CT scan and series of blood tests in order to identify what exactly causing it.

What are the symptoms of coma?

Common symptoms of coma include:

  • Irregular breathing.
  • Closed eyes.
  • Zero response of limbs and painful stimuli (apart from reflex movements).
  • Depressed brainstem reflexes. For example no response of the pupils to light.

What causes come?

Numerous health conditions can trigger coma, few include:

  • Stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Diabetes.
  • Tumors.
  • Lack of oxygen.
  • Alcohol and drugs.
  • Toxins exposure.
  • Seizures.
  • Infections.

What are the possible complications of coma?

Mostly, individuals tend to recover from this prolonged unconsciousness gradually. Few die or go into a vegetative state. On the other hand, few people who successfully recover from the condition may develop minor or major disabilities.

Moreover, complications such as bladder infections, pressure sores or other problems can also develop during coma.

How is coma diagnosed?

Since an individual in coma is unable to express his symptoms, thus the doctors rely on the details provided by the patient’s friends and families. Moreover, physical clues also tend to help the doctor gaining information.

  1. Be prepared to answer the doctor if someone in your family or friend is in coma.
  • The events that lead coma, for example headaches or vomiting.
  • Information regarding how the patient lost consciousness, whether it happened gradually or suddenly.
  • Any noticeable symptoms before losing consciousness.
  • Medical history of the patient, including any other condition the patient had in his or her past, for example transient ischemic attacks or stroke.
  • Any changes that occurred recently in the behavior of health of the patient.
  • Whether or not the patient uses drug or alcohol.
  • Any medicine the patient used to take.
  1. Lab tests: the doctor will take blood samples for checking:
  1. Physical exam: the doctor will test the patient’s reflexes and movements, his or her pupil’s response to light and to painful stimuli. Moreover, he will monitor the breathing patterns in order to identify the cause that lead to coma.
  2. Brain scans: in order to spot the brain injury area, the doctor can conduct imaging tests that include:
  • MRI.
  • CT scan.
  • EEG.

How is coma treated?

The condition needs medical emergency. During this, the doctor will monitor the airway of the patient and will take actions for maintaining circulation and respiration through blood transfusion, breathing assistance etc. Moreover, the emergency staff will administer antibiotics or glucose intravenously.

The treatment of coma tends to vary, depending upon the underlying cause that triggered coma. Due to brain swelling, medications or procedure can be needed for reducing the pressure. In case coma is caused by seizures, then the medications can be given for controlling the seizures, however, if it’s triggered by drug overdose, then medications can be given for treating it.

Moreover, if it is resulted due to any causal disease for example liver disease or diabetes, than the treatment would focus on therapies or medication for dealing it.


By : Natural Health News

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