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Waking up from sedation


My dad has been in ICU for just under 3 weeks and heavily sedated for majority of it;

He has had a Traumatic Brain Injury,

He has been off sedation for a few days and is moving his facial features a lot, with the occasional move from legs and arms.

How long does it usually take to wake up after being sedated for so long?

Any experiences?

4 Replies

It took almost a week for me to wake up fully from 2 grade 3 Comas with Sepsis, pneumonia, Mrsa and kidney failure and had a 1-2% survival rate. Everyone is different, but it can take a while to fully wake up. I’ve now been home for 4 months and am slowly recovering. I wish your Dad well in his recovery.



My father is going through something really similiar to what you have experienced. I am glad you are ok and I hope your recovery continues to go good and you will be back to yourself 100%.

He is now slowing waking up after 3 weeks of sedation and I am looking for advice on how to better be there for him. How to encourage him, how will he feel when he is more and more awake? Will he be scared when we starts realizing what he has been through. How can I better be by his side to support him and help him pass this really really difficult time.



My dad was in the ICU for just under a month in total, with two further weeks in HDU. It took him a really long time to come out of the sedation - he was heavily sedated for about 2 and a half weeks of his stay, had lots of different types of sedation, and the 'coming around' process was extremely slow. We had been warned of this, but it was even slower than we (and the staff) expected. He also suffered a lot of severe delirium. I'd say it took him about a full week and a half to fully 'come round' (as in, being awake and conscious and not just moving limbs/eyes) after the sedation was lifted. It was really scary at the time because other patients seemed to come around a lot more quickly than dad did. How does he usually respond to sedation, if he's had it before? My dad was sedated three years ago when he had pancreatitis and although he was only sedated for a night, it sent him a bit loopy and it took him a long time to come around from that! My dad is now recovering with us at home :) I know how scary it is, but just keep sitting with him/talking to him and encouraging him. Wishing you and your family the best.

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There is a lot of useful info on this link


Everyone responds differently to sedation, in my case, it took 11 days to come around but days and days for my thinking to straighten out.


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