Coma - Victims / Survivors 
Author Message
 Coma - Victims / Survivors

Hi All,

A user on my BBS has a close relative that is in a coma - she would like more
information / would like to chat to people who have gone through coma or
relatives of people who have gone through coma.

Any information would be appreciated.

Regards,
Philip.

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Fri, 27 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Coma - Victims / Survivors
 PG> A user on my BBS has a close relative that is in a
 PG> coma - she would like more
 PG> information / would like to chat to people who have
 PG> gone through coma or
 PG> relatives of people who have gone through coma.

 PG> Any information would be appreciated.

I am not a doctor, nor have I had first-hand experience as a person who went
through a coma or knew someone who did so.  But everything I've read about the
subject would indicate that it's a good idea to talk to the person, read to the
person, and assume that the person hears and understands everything that's
said.



Mon, 30 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Coma - Victims / Survivors
Philip, with all the euthanasia discussion I expected that predictions of
suvival and even actual medical assessment of death to be a routine thing.
Nope.  Medical texts mention different methods but admit to no surefire ways to
know for sure if someone will come back or not or is no longer there.  It is a
percentage thing like so many other things.  I do know that children survive
coma generally better than {*filter*}s.  Even for the very deepest comcas lasting
months, there is a percentage chance that people will come to.  I liken some of
the chances for some patients practically to that for freezing but it isn't
nonexistent.  For a practitioner a 1 in a thousand chance seems nonexistent.
But compared to being in the grave I personally would take those odds ( and
even lower).  In awakenings I am still puzzled at the EEG's.  Did it happen
that these were nonexistent but the L-Dopa then brought them back?  Who knows
what other wonder {*filter*} might not be invented or available to bring some people
back?  Coma seems to me to still be a very mysterious thing.  Wait and see for
some of the head injury precipitating it is often done.  Then to try to revive
once the underlying problem is better, how to do that?  I have periods of
"unresponsiveness" where I can't move or talk so these thoughts naturally occur
to me.  Luckily, the "spells" only last for a minute or two.  Still, what pulls
me out and what if it hits me longer?  And one could cut me and I wouldn't
flinch.  Naturally, I don't hold much stock in those tests.  Cathy.


Tue, 31 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Coma - Victims / Survivors
Quote:

>  Philip, with all the euthanasia discussion I expected that predictions of
>  suvival and even actual medical assessment of death to be a routine thing.
>  Nope.  Medical texts mention different methods but admit to no surefire ways to
>  know for sure if someone will come back or not or is no longer there.  It is a
>  percentage thing like so many other things.  I do know that children survive
>  coma generally better than {*filter*}s.  Even for the very deepest comcas lasting
>  months, there is a percentage chance that people will come to.  I liken some of
>  the chances for some patients practically to that for freezing but it isn't
>  nonexistent.  For a practitioner a 1 in a thousand chance seems nonexistent.
>  But compared to being in the grave I personally would take those odds ( and
>  even lower).  In awakenings I am still puzzled at the EEG's.  Did it happen
>  that these were nonexistent but the L-Dopa then brought them back?  Who knows
>  what other wonder {*filter*} might not be invented or available to bring some people
>  back?  Coma seems to me to still be a very mysterious thing.  Wait and see for
>  some of the head injury precipitating it is often done.  Then to try to revive
>  once the underlying problem is better, how to do that?  I have periods of
>  "unresponsiveness" where I can't move or talk so these thoughts naturally occur
>  to me.  Luckily, the "spells" only last for a minute or two.  Still, what pulls
>  me out and what if it hits me longer?  And one could cut me and I wouldn't
>  flinch.  Naturally, I don't hold much stock in those tests.  Cathy.

As a neurosurgeon, I'll admit that the one person of 1000 that has a relatively
useful recovery is very gratifying.  But what about the other 999?  Who is going
to provide the long term care for them?  Who is going to pay for it?  What about
the dignity if the other 999?   We take care of severe diffuse head injuries and keep
them "alive" at any cost.  You know that if we didn't, you'd have the lawyers all over
us like stink on a skunk.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't care for people in order
to salvage a few people for useful survival, but many of you have to start developing
a realistic attitude toward the abilities and the limitations of care.  In many cases, the
patients would be more self sufficient if you could inject chlorophyl intradermally and
place them into sunlight to photosynthesize.  Would you like to exist in a persistent
vegetative state?


Sun, 05 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 Coma - Victims / Survivors
I don't have a lot to say about comas - only what I've learned from my
experience.  My brother was in a coma after a car accident.  We talked a
lot to him (go with a list of things to talk about.  It's amazing how
quickly your mind can go blank), we stroked him a lot, and we would leave
a walkman on him when we had to leave - with his favorite tunes.  The
nurses would turn the tapes, or turn it off for quiet time.  The thing
that surprised me most was that David didn't just "wake up" one day.  It
was a very gradual thing.  He became combative, aggressive, his language
was horrible (I had never heard him curse before - I was shocked!!!  Even
the "F" word - he would be shocked).  In the end, he survived, but
suffered brain damage.  FORTUNATELY, he retained his sense of humor and
didn't keep the angry, hostile dispostion so many brain damaged people
suffer.  UNFORTUNETLY, he has NO short term memory - that will drive you
crazy in short order.  But, all in all, we are very luck.  Good luck!

Macy Coffey
Lexington VA

p.s. David was 31 at the time (3 1/2 years ago)



Mon, 06 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 
 [ 5 post ] 

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