Overcoming challenges are never easy, especially when facing a brain injury. A coma or other Brain injuries can become inspirational stories. Although each coma patient is similar…they are each unique too. We must remember we are all different, so coma victims all heal differently and at their own pace. One such example is Author Eric Inouye, who shares his experiences of surviving a nine-week coma and living with a disability. For a better understanding of a coma, the following topics are carefully written just for you.
What is a coma?
A coma is known to be a profound or a deep state of unconsciousness. People in a state of coma are alive, but unable to respond to their environment. In a comatose state, a patient cannot be awakened and does not respond to pain, light or sound in the normal way. The comatose individual cannot react nor recognize the things that are happening in the surrounding environment.
Characteristics of a Coma
- Unable to follow instructions
- Incapable of feeling pain
- No speech or other forms of communication
- Unable to respond to sound or light
- No purposeful movement
Causes of Coma
A coma can be a result of several possible causes, the following are frequent reasons for a coma and these should be avoided to ensure the healthy state of our brains:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – these injuries can occur from vehicular collisions and accidents, where the patient’s head has undergone heavy blows from the accident, this can result in a coma. These are the most common cause of comas.
- Infections – examples for this are encephalitis and meningitis that cause swelling or inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, or the tissues that surround the brain. Severe causes of these infections can result in brain damage or coma.
- Toxins and Drug Overdose – exposure to toxins and carbon monoxide can result in brain damage or coma, as can some drug overdoses.
- Diabetes – In people with diabetes, blood sugar levels that become too high or also known as hyperglycemia or too low hyperglycemia can cause coma.
- Lack of Oxygen – this is also known as hypoxia where a person who nearly drowned or who has been resuscitated after a heart attack, may not awaken because of a shortage of blood, which carries oxygen to the brain.
- Stroke – a condition where a blood clot or rupture of an artery or blood vessel interrupts blood to an area of the brain. A lack of oxygen and glucose flowing to the brain, which may result in the death of brain cells, brain damage, and coma.
- Tumors – the swelling part of the brain or brainstem that is caused by an abnormal growth of tissue, or tumor can cause comas.