Frequently Asked Questions
People who are in coma cannot obey commands. They may move, however, in response to touch or pain, or even on their own.
2. Does a person experience pain while in coma?
Being in coma may be compared to being under anesthesia. People in coma may well react to pain by moving, or even groaning, but most often have no memory of pain.
3. Does a person in coma hear?
People in coma sometimes show signs that they are able to hear and understand. Often, these signs are just simple reflexes - like squeezing a hand, or sucking, in response to a touch. Occasionally, people in coma seem to become calm when they hear a familiar voice. Since they almost never remember these events, it is impossible to decide if they actually recognized a voice or understood what was said. However, as a rule, it is good to talk to people in coma as though they could hear and understand what was being said.
4. What is the vegetative state?
People who wake up and sleep but have no meaningful interaction with the world around them are said to be in persistent vegetative state. The prognosis for regaining full mental faculties once the vegetative state has supervened is almost negligible.
5. Can I do something to prevent coma?
Many of the head injuries that cause comas can be prevented through safety practices, such as wearing seatbelts in cars and helmets on bicycles and motorcycles. Routine doctor visits will lessen the chances of coma in patients with diabetes, seizure disorders or other conditions that may lead to coma.