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Not recovering from coma after heart failure

Hi everyone,

My father has severe arrhythmia and heart failure, and unfortunately his heart stopped for abour 8 to 10 mins 9 days ago. he never gained consciousness after CPR worked and he was brought back to life. Ever since, he is breathing via respiratory device and they are trying to treat him for heart, a little lung infection because of the device. The doctors ran a tomogrophy, and tomogrohpy did not show any affected area. He is able to respond to pain, move his hands/legs a lot, and carry out reflex movements like squezing hands and even pulling out his IV and his respitory device from his mouth. He was able to open his eyes upon touching and sometimes tracking the person in front of him, but these two days that is not happening much at all, too. What I dont understand is, if his tomogrophy is clean, why is not gaining consciousness? the doctors dont want to run an MR, and I am scared that there can be something missing that is not treated. Do you have any idea what may be happening and if there is any chance he will regain consciousness?

Many thanks

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It can take some time to come to, for me it was 11 days. Everyone is different, everyone receives different meds, they have different conditions, age & levels of fitness which result in different outcomes. Have a look at critical care guide from ICUsteps.

icusteps.org/assets/files/I...

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Yes as Sepsur says every person is different. My brother didn’t start to come round until a full month after he was placed in an induced coma with sepsis. He was in his 40s. It was very hard not knowing when he would wake up. Very powerful drugs are used and take time to work out of the system especially when the persons organs are struggling due to sepsis. Thinking of you and your family.

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Thanks guys your responses are much appreciated. Unfortunately having him seperated from the respiratory device worsened his heart condition&lowered his pulse strength and blood pressure. they put him back on the device and started a treatment to increase blood pressure and it looks like it is working from what i saw today (good blood pressure and strong heartbeats on EKG). Now because he is aggetated they also give him sedatives even though he was not conscious but moving a lot trying to pull the devices off. Doctors are not saying anything optimistic, but i am, i know he is very strong.

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Am glad you have confidence in him. I was written off but I survived. I have heart failure and was in a medically induced coma after being dead for a few minutes after a series of heart attacks, cardiac arrest and cardiogenic shock. I was in the coma for about four weeks and also had sepsis and pneumonia. You haven't said how old your father is. I was in my late 50s at the time. I ended up being hospitalised for four months. Be patient, visit him often and talk to him even if you don't think he can hear you. Don't give up hope. If he's agitated, don't worry. I think that's a good sign. I kept trying to pull off my oxygen mask - I had a lot of delusions and he probably does as well.He probably thinks he's been kidnapped (I did!) Let him have visitors. I can't say for sure, but knowing that people cared was one of the things that pulled me through.

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Thank you so much Gary, your response and sincerity made my day seeing you had overpowered those difficulties! My father is 73, but we had to put him in IC many times because of heart issues for years, last was 3 months ago because of brain cloth and later got pnemunia and doctor was saying these kind of patients have high mortality rate and had very little hope. Eventually he survived the whole thing in just two weeks and he was sent home.These days are rough because on top of all he has to be sedated and cannot gain consciousness even though he may be ready but I am hoping for the best!

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I hope that things go well for him. Even though he’s sedated, talk to him - I’m sure you are already - you both sound like strong people. Keep us posted. I think he’s going to be okay. All the best, gary.

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Yes do keep talking to him to reassure him you are there. It is a rollercoaster of good and bad days. Your father sounds strong and I am hoping he recovers well. Remain hopeful.

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