How long do comas last?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2019 | Catastrophic Injuries

Lake Charles families who are caring for someone in a coma understand the agony of hoping their loved one pulls through. If you know someone who is currently in a coma, you may wonder how long the coma will last. There is no hard and fast answer, as coma patients may experience any number of different outcomes. Some people become fully conscious and are able to resume a normal life, while others may spend the rest of their lives in a coma.

According to the How Stuff Works website, a coma is typically not going to last more than two to four weeks. A patient will start to regain awareness over a gradual period of time. Brief consciousness and alertness is possible during the first day with increasing intervals of alertness and awareness in the coming weeks. Hopefully, the patient will progress to complete consciousness and be able to function on his or her own.

However, not all comas are fully broken. Some people remain in comas for years or even decades, with recovery only a very distant possibility. There are some patients who enter into a persistent vegetative state. In this type of coma, patients do not respond to outside stimuli, though they may be able to breathe and digest on their own. Other patients die within a short period of entering a coma, usually if the injury or damage to their bodies is too severe.

The length of a coma often depends on the condition that creates it. Comas created by drug or alcohol overdoses can dissipate once the body clears those substances. Some comas are caused by metabolic issues like diabetes. If doctors are able to administer medication to treat these problems, the coma can be broken. Comas created by brain tumors and severe brain injuries, however, may last longer since the underlying causes are usually harder to treat.

This article is written to inform you about catastrophic injury topics. Do not read it as legal counsel for your particular situation.

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