Head injuries that are moderate or severe can cause patients to lapse into a coma. A coma is an altered level of consciousness where the person is unaware of events and unable to respond.

Brain injury coma can improve or deteriorate

The coma can be caused by swelling and/or bleeding in the brain. The swelling can cause pressure against the brain stem, and damage the part of the brain that controls awareness and arousal.

A head-injury coma typically lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It can be part of the body’s natural recovery process after the accident, in which case after a time, the patient will gradually be able to move and respond again. In other cases, the patient may deteriorate from the coma into a vegetative state.

During coma/recovery

The prognosis for recovery from comas for brain-injured patients depends on the location and severity of the damage. It is essential that brain-injured patients in a coma get the proper medical attention from trained doctors who can correctly diagnose the underlying conditions.

When the patient is first stabilized, the medical professionals will then assess the damage using various imaging techniques. What they find might show that surgery or other treatment is indicated.

Is full recovery possible? It’s possible, but it may take months or years. In general with brain injuries, there is rapid recovery right afterwards, which then tapers off. You can never know for certain what the prognosis is, and some will face life-long limitations.

There are a wide range of outcomes and it’s a difficult thing to predict.

How a Brain Injury Attorney Can Help You

If you suffered a loss of consciousness and someone else is responsible for your injury, you will want to consult an attorney who has experience litigating brain injury cases. You will also want to begin documenting all of the events as they happen.

Family or friends can take time while the patient is in the coma to document all the information about the injury, how it happened, and gather any witness statements. They should also carefully record all of the medical information, such as how many days was the patient in the coma, get copies of the doctor’s notes, track all medicines prescribed, etc.

It helps to keep a log – even a simple spiral notebook is fine. Just write everything down. When it comes time to settle the case, the other side’s insurance company will often try to minimize the patient’s injuries. Having a detailed documentation of the coma experience, and recovery from the coma, will be vital evidence – and it may also be needed later in securing proper medical and follow-up attention.

Don’t be pressured into settling a brain injury case early. You may need time after the patient recovers from the coma to know the extent of any long-term damages. Please contact an experienced bran injury attorney to talk about coma after brain injury and your legal rights.