Doctor looking at spinal cord xray

What are the Stages of a Coma?

What to Expect When Coming Out of a Coma

After sustaining a brain injury, there is a risk of going into a coma. Typically a coma will last between two and four weeks. While it may be a long recovery process, some telltale signs in each stage can indicate how someone is progressing while coming out of a coma. Coma patients are monitored carefully through the following four stages of recovery before they can determine the full extent of their brain injury and prognosis.

Stage 1: Unresponsiveness

During the unresponsive stage, a patient typically does not respond consistently. The unresponsive stage is referred to as a coma. Patients in the unresponsive stage may have reflexive responses and random movements for no specific reason.

Stage 2: Early Responsiveness

During this stage, the patient will begin to respond to stimuli. Responses will be less random but slow and inconsistent. Some early responses may include movement to sound and touch, or opening and closing eyes, or gripping and releasing hands when prompted to do so.

Stage 3: Agitation and Confusion

At this stage, a patient may respond more consistently. They may also be confused about where they are and what has happened and have memory difficulties. The patient may present behavioral issues, such as outbursts, swearing, biting, or physical aggression.

Stage 4 - Higher Level of Responsiveness

At this stage, a patient may be able to complete routine tasks without difficulty. However, they may still have issues with problem-solving, judgment, and decision-making. A patient at this stage may not be fully aware of their limitations. Family and friends might notice some personality changes at this stage as well.

The recovery process is different for everyone, and some patients could stay in one stage longer than the other.

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Whether a car crash, truck accident, or slip and fall accident, sustaining a brain injury is a serious matter. When the injury could have been prevented, it can make the situation even more stressful. If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of another party, we are here to help you seek justice. Our personal injury lawyers are ready to guide you through the process to receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

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