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Do people in a coma feel pain? Are most comatose patients…

Do people in a coma...
Do people in a coma feel pain? Are most comatose patients have any sense of awareness at all that they are in a coma?
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
3/26/2018
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Intensivist
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9,956
Experience: Experience of Neurology of over 4 years, well versed in EEG, NCS and EMG alongwith MRIs and CT scans
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Hi,
Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. Actually, the question whether coma patients can feel pain or not is one which is still debated by medical professionals the world over. There are various tools which we utilize to determine whether a patient can feel pain or not, it all depends on the depth of the coma and the severity of the disease which is causing the coma. Usually, we attach an EEG or a BiS device which can help us determine whether a patient is responding to painful stimuli or not, in some cases a fMRI can be done which tells us if the regions in the brain which perceive pain are lighting up or not on a painful stimulus.

So basically each coma patient is different, some patients can perceive pain and may be aware of their surroundings however other patients do not perceive pain at all. It all depends on the severity of the illness they have, for example, a patient with extensive brain damage after trauma or a massive stroke is less likely to perceive pain or be aware of the surroundings whereas a patient who is suffering from a condition like locked in syndrome would be perfectly aware of the surrounding.

So it depends on the cause of the coma and the severity of illness but simply put, YES certain coma patients can feel pain and are aware of the surroundings to varying degrees.

Do you have any more questions?

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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Intensivist
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9,956
Experience: Experience of Neurology of over 4 years, well versed in EEG, NCS and EMG alongwith MRIs and CT scans
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