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What is a medically induced coma?

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2021 | Personal Injury |

A traumatic brain injury may occur when you hit your head during an automobile accident. Even rapid slowing during the crash may cause you to suffer a TBI. Regrettably, if you develop a TBI, your brain may be vulnerable to additional injury even after its initial one. 

To give your brain time to heal, doctors may induce a coma. A coma is essentially a state of unconsciousness where brain function ceases. While a medically induced coma may save your life, it does not come without some risks. 

How do doctors induce comas?

Physicians often use sedatives to induce comas. If your doctor believes the procedure is medically necessary, he or she may use similar drugs to those an anesthesiologist administers before surgery. When you are in a comatose state, doctors must carefully monitor your vital signs. Consequently, if your doctor induces a coma, you can expect to spend some time in intensive care. 

How do doctors end medically induced comas?

When your brain recovers sufficiently, your physician is likely to bring you out of a medically induced coma. Doing so, though, requires time. That is, your doctor will likely reduce sedatives slowly, giving you hours or days to regain consciousness. 

Do induced comas cause harm?

Like any medical procedure, there is some potential for injury or death when doctors induce comas. Not only may you have ongoing damage from your TBI, but you may also experience side effects from anesthesia. Depending on the length of your coma, you may even have to relearn to walk, talk and perform everyday tasks. 

While a medically induced coma is a major medical procedure that often leads to a long and expensive recovery, the financial compensation you receive from the person who caused the car accident may help you cope.