NOV 22, 2017 02:23 PM PST

So you're in a coma...


Though the science behind comas is greatly disputed, there are some things we know for certain. The word coma comes from the Greek term for a state of sleep and refers to when your body is impaired from conscious action. When a person is in a coma, they are alive and can sometimes even breathe on their own, but will not be able to respond to stimuli like light, sound, or touch. While the brain of a comatose person is active at a base level, you certainly aren't doing much thinking when you're in a coma.

A coma usually is caused when blood flow and therefore oxygen is cut off from the brain, but keep in mind that every coma is different and impacts each patient uniquely. Following the Glasgow Coma Scale, which assigns a ranking from 3-15, the lower your scale, the worse off you are. On average, comas last from 2-4 weeks, but it is generally true that the longer a person is comatose, the less of a chance of surviving he or she has. Unfortunately, there is no cure to waken a patient from a coma.

There's a lot of debate about the brain activity of comatose patients and what is or is not going on in people's brains when they are in a coma. To learn more about some of the studies that have been done on this topic, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 15, 2018
Videos
SEP 15, 2018
A Hangover Cure in a Pill
A night of drinking can lead to a morning of regret for many people, but science is working on a solution for the physical pain....
SEP 29, 2018
Videos
SEP 29, 2018
How Researchers Study the Microbes in the Human Gut
Researchers are starting to learn a lot more about the huge number of microbes living in our gastrointestinal tract. But how?...
OCT 01, 2018
Videos
OCT 01, 2018
Is Bigger Better?
Bigger is better, right? If you’re trying to insult someone you might call them a “pea brain” or tell them they have a “bird brain,...
OCT 05, 2018
Videos
OCT 05, 2018
Listeria Infections Linked to Deli Ham
The CDC has some advice about a ham recall announced on October 3 by Johnston County Hams, Inc....
OCT 14, 2018
Videos
OCT 14, 2018
Counteracting Plastic Straws by Using Plant Fibers
According to the United Nations, ocean plastics kill an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually—and straws are much to blame. Already, the state of...
OCT 14, 2018
Videos
OCT 14, 2018
Globally, Many Students Are Over-Diagnosed With ADHD
When teachers notice issues with a student, parents naturally respond and often can lead to a diagnosis of ADHD. Now, a global study published in the Journ...
Loading Comments...