If your loved one suffered a severe head injury in an accident, you may feel helpless. If he or she is in a coma, you may not know what to expect. Comatose patients cannot express themselves. According to Mayo Clinic doctors only have the information that you can provide and the symptoms from the accident.
Depending on your loved one’s injuries, their state may be treatable.
The doctor may interview and other friends or family about your loved one’s accident. If you have details, give as many of them to the doctor as possible. If your loved one is on any medications or has had any other health problems, the doctor needs to know. If the patient happened to be awake for any amount of time before hospital arrival, you should explain any symptoms that you observed.
The doctor will perform a physical exam on the patient. He or she will test the person’s reflexes and responses to stimuli. Also, he or she may order lab tests for blood and other samples and will most likely perform imaging tests. A physician has to be able to see the electrical activity within the brain and the extent of any injuries.
The first line of treatment when a patient suffers from a coma is to ensure that he or she can breathe. If your loved one has swelling in the brain that led to the coma, the physicians will try to reduce the swelling. Doctors will keep the patient stable and if he or she wakes up, then the physician can order new treatments.
Some patients will have permanent disabilities following a traumatic brain injury and coma.