A coma means that your body is in a prolonged, deep state of unconsciousness. While you’re in this state, you’ll be considered comatose and unable to move or respond to your environment.
A coma seldom lasts longer than a couple of weeks. However, when the comatose condition drags on for a long time it is classified as being in a persistent vegetative state.
A major difference between coma unconsciousness and sleep is that you can’t be woken up. A persistent vegetative state that lasts longer than a year creates the unlikelihood that you ever will.
And an occasional grimace, cry or laugh caused by one who’s comatose doesn’t signify they’ve awaken, or are conscious, from their vegetative state.
Causes of a coma stem from a variety of health related conditions, such as:
- liver failure
- brain tumor
- cerebral edema
- brain hemorrhage
- alcohol poisoning
- traumatic head injury
- severe hypothyroidism
- shock ~ anaphylaxis, toxic
- infection ~ encephalitis, meningitis
- toxins ~ carbon monoxide, drug overdose, kidney failure
- hypoxia ~ drowning, heart attack, excessive blood loss, lung problem
- diabetes ~ sustained periods of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia causes diabetic coma
Becoming comatose just before death because of various terminal health conditions is not uncommon.
No response is a fundamental sign that someone is in a coma, except unconscious reflex movements. Some health complications associated with persistent vegetative states involves combating problems like:
Sometimes, a coma is induced, aka sedation. This intended unconsciousness allows for healing while comatose.