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
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Learn More About Metallic Asteroids
NASA’s Psyche mission will investigate the properties of a unique metallic asteroid residing between Mars and Jupiter as it orbits the Sun. It’...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
Younger Wolves Help Their Elders Grab a Bite to Eat
Wolves work together in the wild to ensure the survival of the rest of their pack, and this includes their elders. Whenever one wolf finds food, it will in...
NOV 17, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 17, 2019
These Animals Give Birth to the Largest Babies in the World
Moms everywhere will tell you all about the excruciating labor pains that come along with delivering a baby, but in the animal kingdom, many newborns are s...
NOV 17, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 17, 2019
Catastrophic Ancient Events Might Have Forever Changed Life-friendly Venus
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that Venus had a long history of being a habitable planet due to its abundance of water, plate tectonics, and amicab...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
How Much Do You Know About NASA's Voyager Missions?
NASA’s Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft each launched in 1977 for a unique opportunity to explore the solar system’s outermost planets in unprecedent...
NOV 17, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 17, 2019
Protein Batteries - Talk About "Power Bars"
The pioneers behind lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries were awarded Nobel prize this year. Still, scientists around the world already wish to move beyond this...
Loading Comments...