A person may sustain a variety of injuries in even seemingly minor car accidents. While these injuries range from whiplash to organ trauma, comas are not exactly rare. After all, car accident are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, which are a leading cause of comas.
If someone you love is in a coma following a car accident due to distracted driving, you may feel a range of emotions. While focusing on your loved one’s recovery is likely your top priority, you should understand that recovering from an accident-related coma may take years.
The cause of comas
A coma is a prolonged state of unconscious where affected patients cannot communicate or otherwise respond to their environments. While a person may enter a comatose state for different reasons, car accident victims often become comatose due to TBIs.
Also, medical professionals may use a medically induced coma to give the brain and body time to heal. With this approach, doctors use anesthesia or sedatives to induce the coma. Reducing and eventually eliminating these medications typically causes the patient to regain consciousness.
The Glasgow Coma Scale
Doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale to measure the severity of TBI-related comas. This diagnostic tool employs a point system to test the following:
- Motor response
- Verbal response
- Eye opening
Typically, patients who receive better scores on the Glasgow Coma Scale have a better chance of recovering completely from a TBI-associated coma.
Comas are medical emergencies. Consequently, your loved one may initially spend time in the intensive care unit at a hospital. He or she is likely also to need specialist care to emerge from the coma.
Ultimately, receiving appropriate medical care and follow-up therapy offers a person the best chance of recovering from a coma and returning to normalcy.