Info on induced coma please

I am so thankful to have found this organization. I have a good friend in critical care, he was involved in a car crash and is now in an induced coma on a ventilator and they have paralysed him.

His only real injury is his brain, although he now has pneumonia as well but he is 38 and very fit so we have been told that shouldn't be a problem.

His GCS at the scene was 10 which I understand is quite hopeful although he is obviously not as well now, the pressure on his transpires a few times a day but scans show the bleeding stopped after 4 days.

I guess my question is has anyone been in a similar experience, we are just waiting for him to become more stable and the infection to go so they can reduce the sedation and wean see how he is. One other thing, I have read here that some of teething we say may be getting through but is that the sam ewith a deep induced coma?

39 Replies

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  • I just thought I'll tell you. induced coma means they put him in a coma for his own safety

  • GCS stands for glasgow Coma Scale, which was created by neurosurgeons in Glasgow.

  • Thank you for the info, I guess it is just a waiting game but it is so difficult not to be able to do anything

  • I know. Not been in your situation though

  • Hello there. I have very limited experience but my husband was in an induced coma 5 weeks ago following a suicide attempt.

    The doctors were quite worried about Paul and were going to switch off his life support as he hadn't woken up after reducing his sedation.

    I asked if he could hear us talking and although they can't say for sure, I felt that he was listening to us. Some of the staff encouraged us to talk to him and definitely feel that this had an influence on Paul as he woke after a couple of days.

    A GCS of 10 is a good sign but this can fluctuate so don't place too much emphasis on it. The doctors told us that Paul's actions such as squeezing my hand was a much better indicator of his progress.

    While he is sleeping he is healing so keep talking to him, reassuring him and look after yourself as it is easy to neglect your own needs.

    Keep in touch with the people here, they are an amazingly supportive bunch and we are here for you.

    Warmest Regards

    Angie xxx

  • Thanks Angie, you must have been through so much. Was your husband able to squeeze your hand even in his coma? Eneko is so far under it is like he is made of stone.

  • Hello.

    Paul wasn't able to respond to any stimulus and didn't squeeze my hand for at least 3 weeks and that was after his sedation was removed and he had come round.

    I have ready stories about people who have been in a coma and although they can't recount everything that people said, they could vaguely remember the voices of their loved ones. So keep speaking to him, I am sure that on some level he can feel the love and support you give him.

    Take Care

    Angie

  • Keep talking to him. Hearing is the last sense to go and the first to come back if the systems are not damaged.

    Make sure you get rest as the harder work start when they do wake up.

    Contact headway for some information booklets, they're very useful, well written and easy to understand.

  • Hi Obama,

    Sorry it's taken a while for me to reply I had to check with my husband exactly what my situation was. I was originally placed in an induced coma so that they could put me on life support but when they tried to wake me I stayed in the coma, my GCS was 3. I was in the coma for 3 weeks all told, and I cannot say when I was hearing most things, whether the induced or natural coma.

    I do remember them talking and having an MRI scan so think that was early on.

    So I would go with the fact that he can probably hear, as Dans says your hearing is the last sense to go.

    With a GCS of 10 there is a good chance of a good recovery.Mine has been exceptional, so you never can tell.

    Best wishes Janet x

  • Hi again just read a bit further, I didn't squeeze hands or blink when I started to come round, there was nothing whilst I was in the coma, but I would show signs of agitation initially, and then I would move my tongue to commands. So when the time is right you have to think out of the box sometimes, the doctors told my family they were imagining things when I first started responding because in their words it wasn't possible, but it was x

  • Wow Janet, after the reading I have done it is a miracle you have done so well, that gives me hope. I am sure he reacted whence first got there before they had to sedate him more. We are taking it in turns to visit and talk him. He is bilingual so hoping something may be getting through. The pressure on his brain keeps spiking so they don't want to do anything until that settles down.

  • I get the impression this happened quite recently and, if so, these are very early days in recovery terms. There's every chance of a good outcome for your friend Obama. Once the infection has cleared, he will be woken and, hopefully, starting to engage with his surroundings.

    Seeing someone in a coma is always disturbing but remember, your friend is 'artificially' unconscious to allow his brain to heal and the less stimulus he has the more efficient that will be.

    Please come back and tell us how he progresses. Kind regards, Cat x

  • This happened New Years Day cat so yes very recently. Unfortunately another young man who thought he was invincible, although that is irrelevant if he comes round.

  • Hi Cat,

    Hope you don't mind that I stepped in to explain the misunderstanding : ) x

  • Sorry, I didn't realise this was an inappropriate post. Just looking for hope.

  • Obama007

    Hi there, I don't think anybody here has deliberately upset you, or made you feel as though you have no right to post here.

    We are all extremely non-judgemental here, so here is a great place to ask questions, look for information & vent.

    Take care & please update us!

    Emma

  • Not inappropriate, Obama,

    Cat has underlined the 'when' word to emphasise that your friend will definitely come round, as you had put 'if' he comes round in your previous post, sounding unsure. It is to reassure you that he will eventually be allowed to wake up : )

    Sorry if meanings got crossed,

    You are most welcome and we look forward to hearing your questions and updates on how your friend is doing.

    Kind regards, Angela x

  • Thank you for explaining, my emotions are all over the place and I thought maybe this was a place just for when people are concious. I don't know why it says my name is Obama, it is actually Liz :-)

  • No worries,Liz

    Understandable that you are stressed with this difficult situation.

    I don't have any personal experience of this but others on here will. In the meantime, this link might help to reassure you : asahq.org/lifeline/anesthes...

    Try not to worry too much - he is in good hands,

    Angela x

  • Hi Liz,

    So sorry to hear about your friend's accident. My daughter was in a similar situation last spring. She was given a score of 3 at the scene of her accident and airlifted to a trauma centre where her score increased to 7. This is only one factor in determining the severity of a patients injury. There are so many other factors that the GCS probably isn't worth worrying about. Your friend is young and strong. He is getting the best care.

    What we were told by staff during my daughter's stay in intensive care was that when she awoke she would be confused. They used the term 'scrambled' which was a pretty accurate description as it turned out. While in a coma we spoke to her, made jokes, held her hand, played music, tuned the TV to her favourite station, etc. When she did wake up she didn't immediately respond to commands or follow us with her eyes. This was very scary but perfectly normal and thankfully short-lived. That was over 8 months ago and since then she's made amazing progress. Hoping the same for your friend.

    Give the Headway helpline a ring for a more specific discussion and further support. I know how it is to have your emotions 'all over the place'. Take care and as others have said, keep us posted on progress.

  • Glad to hear your daughter is doing so well, I actually took comfort in his score of 10, but will try not to red too much in to it. Will be phoning the unit soon for his update x

  • My boy isn't doing so good,they have had to put him on 100% oxygen.

  • Hi Liz,

    Sorry to hear about your friends car accident on new years day & I'm in a similar situation to you because I have a close family friend in a deep coma, not induced in ICU on life support after he suffered a bleed in his brain from a burst vein, that happened two days after your friend on 3rd January. He needed surgery to stop the bleed. It'll have been a week today & still no change in his condition. My emotions are all over the place too, so I do understand.

    I'll keep your friend in my prayers.

    Hope I haven't upset you.

    Laura

  • Hi there

    I had my accident almost 3 years ago! I fell with a horse, and landed face first, breaking my right orbit, and giving me 6 haematomas in my brain. I had what they call, a Diffuse Axonal Injury, s it was quite bad. My GCS was 8!

    I now have bad balance a weaker right side, no sense of smell, and difficult speech, especially when I'm tired!

    I was apparently put in an induced coma for 6 days. Apparently I was trying to speak, and communicate with my family, but they couldn't understand what I was saying.

    To ct a long story short, I only remember from 2 months after! I would say the quickest improvement was in the first 6 months. After being paralyzed on one side, I was walking again, albeit with a stagger. Emotionally, I also became a better person, after shouting at people, and saying some very heartless things!

    Just remember that the rain never stops healing, although it becomes painfully slow. The biggest thing of our injury, is acceptance of our condition, and the realization that we may never be quite the SAme person.

    Good luck and all the best!

    Debs

    😊😉

  • It is really helpful to hear these stories, thank you for taking the time to share them x

  • My husband was in an induced coma for 9 days in 2012 following a car crash that we were both in in Mexico. Each day we had to wait to see whether it was the day to wake him.

    When he woke he couldn't speak, walk, anything.... But slowly he did get better & now his physical health is 100%

    No one would know he has a brain injury to look at him.

    The main thing for rehab is friends & family who are encouraging, loving & supportive. Hope this helps x

  • Hi Liz, I'm sorry to hear about your friend., I dont know if my coma was induced or not - nearly 3 yrs ago, I was In it for just a few days, going by remembering the day it happened, I remember the events and being taken to hospital, also know what day I came to, because I was told afterwards. And by answering questions like did I know where I was, what was my name!

    I don't remember for the initial days following waking up though.

    I think I remember hearing nurses trying to wake me, when they came to take the stats.

    It's much like when you're a kid who wants to sleep in and not wake up when you hear mum calling you! I expect the others may agree with that, and hope it helps you understand a little better as well.

    Have you told his family and other friends about Headway, it may help them as well, to get an idea of what to expect.,there nothing like learning from other people's experiences, as you have on here!

    I hope his recovery continues, albeit slowly, so don't panic, relax if poss. Patience and Supprt are the watchwords! follow the good advice/suggestions given by the others on here!

    I think someone has mentioned that Headway do a good series of booklets on Brain Injuries, they are also downloadable from this website by pdf also. They are excellent for the carers as well as the one injured.

    Keep us posted on progress.

    Shirley x.

  • So sorry to hear about your friend. My sister was kept in an induced coma for 10 day 3 years ago. We did talk to her working on the basis that she could here us - she can't remember if she could here but she did respond to instructions from the nurse asking her to poke her tongue out. She did squeeze our hands after a little while but the nurse said it could be her nervous system. To this day I believe that she could hear us encouraging her to use her spirit to get her through.

    Your friend being fit will really help!

    Keep in touch - this is a lovely support area

  • We are at the hospital now but the are working on him and wont let us see him.....if you pray, please pray for Enekoiz now xx

  • Hi Liz, we are all praying in our own ways, of that I'm sure. Because we've all been there done that for ourselves or family/friends, in our own ways, so we understand your desperation at the moment.

    I really hope and pray there is a a good outcome for your man.

    Shirley x

  • Hi Liz, our prayers are there believe me X Janet

  • Still praying for your friend

    Laura

  • Thank you for caring for people you have never met. We Srebrenica starting to deal with organ failure now and I am do cross that they have been treating himvwith th wrong antibiotic for 3 days which has allowed s huge infection to get established. Now they are waiting to hear what the right one is. He is still fighting though!

  • Unfortunately we lost Eneko yesterday , such a waste of a beautiful young man

  • Oh I'm so sorry, please do take care.

  • Oh Liz, I'm so sorry for the loss to you and to Eneko's family. It's hard to respond to a post like this because words seem so inadequate. Please accept my sincere condolences and warmest wishes.

  • I've just found your post Liz, and I'm so, so sorry to hear that Eneko lost his fight for life. How especially tragic that his fight was cut short by inappropriate medication ; please accept my sincerest condolences to you and his family.

    Kindest regards and sympathies, Cat xx

  • Thank you for your kind thoughts. At the end he had multiple organ failure and he had lost his eye reflex. His family spent hours with him saying goodbye but at the end it was too much for them and my 21 year old daughter and I had the privilege of holding Eneko's hands and talking to him as they withdrew his life support. My heart is just a bit broken and I just can't stop thinking of how scared he must have been at the time of the crash, hopefully something in the PM will show up to put my and at rest.

  • Often at times of trauma (as in sudden accidents) our minds don't grasp the situation quickly enough for it to register.

    And at such times, our brains release calming hormones to protect us, so please try to think along these lines Liz.

    Your friend is at peace now ; all suffering is over so please don't let that anxiety interfere with your grieving.

    Take care my dear. Cat x

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