It is understandable that many families cling to hope when their loved ones suffer injuries that lead to a comatose state. However, as much as hope is a potent medicine, it does not often serve as a full remedy. Comatose states are complex symptoms that arise from a variety of factors.
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the main deciding factors in someone’s ability to recover from a coma is swift and appropriate action as soon as the condition is diagnosed. This duty often falls to medical professionals, such as paramedics and emergency room doctors. Competence in treating comas is often considered as one of the minimum requirements for someone who is responsible for the care of victims of car accidents, construction falls or other common causes of the symptom.
Medical professionals, especially first responders, are often also responsible for collecting data at the scene of an accident that causes a coma. This information is usually used later on by more specialized individuals to determine the most advantageous course of treatment for the patient. Any error in these initial readings could potentially lead to a cascade of misinformation that affects triage decisions and leads to the severe injury or even the preventable death of a comatose individual.
To illustrate the importance of accurate diagnosis and readings, one might refer to an article published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology that discusses some findings about coma recovery. The article states that some intensive care units do not even admit patients with low scores on one of the primary coma classification scales.
While the results of this neurology journal’s study are sobering, they should not necessarily be viewed as a reason not to pursue an initial course of treatment. It is easy for someone without medical training to get lost in the various indicators and counter-indicators of coma recovery, which is why patients and their families must often rely almost completely on the competence and diligence of their medical service providers.