Coma (Medical)

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Dementia Quiz

What is the prognosis for coma?

Depending upon the diagnosis, the evaluation may be no more than assessing blood sugar, treating hypoglycemia, and having complete resolution of the situation. On the other hand, the cause of coma may be a catastrophic brain hemorrhage without hope for significant recovery. The outlook very much depends on the cause of the coma and the ability to treat the particular situation.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

Huff JS, Martin ML. Altered mental status and coma. In: Wolfson AB, Hendey GW, Ling LJ, et al, eds. Harwood-Nuss' Clinical Practice of Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 14.

Marx J, Hockenberger, R, Walls R. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th edition. Saunders. 2013.

Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition McGraw hill Professional. 2010.

Willoughby RE Jr, Tieves KS, Hoffman GM, Ghanayem NS, Amlie-Lefond CM, Schwabe MJ, Chusid MJ, Rupprecht CE. Survival after treatment of rabies with induction of coma. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jun 16;352(24):2508-14.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/11/2016

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