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Coma Patients: 40% in a Vegetative State May Be Misdiagnosed

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posted on May, 17 2009 @ 11:16 PM
I just came across this... Scary stuff! It seems that 40% of patients in a persistant vegetative state are misdiagnosed and are in fact conscious but unable to communicate. The consequences of this will be far reaching, from the care of patients in this condition to the reopening of the debate on whether or not to carry donor cards.

From the Sunday Times...
40% of coma patients in a ‘vegetative state’ may be misdiagnosed, says a new report. Trapped inside their bodies, apparently switched off to the world, but still alive: they are the undead. Or so we thought. Forty per cent of patients in a ‘vegetative state’ are misdiagnosed. Now British scientists are leading the field in trying to put that right

Here's the full article ...

Sunday Times Article

[edit on 18/5/09 by Insomniac]

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 11:37 PM
Thats pretty trippy. Its kinda like when people get surgery done, but they aren't quite asleep yet. Pretty nuts to think about, I mean not being able to move or speak, just being able to hear and feel. Its $hitty as hell. Hopefully they can figure somthing out to stop this un-necessary suffering. I would hate for that to happen to me, after a while I would just want them to pull the plug. Its the worse kind of prison, your own body...

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 01:55 AM
This quote is from the article:

Ten years ago, Kate went into a deep coma and was on a ventilator for several weeks. She had suffered severe brain inflammation after contracting a viral infection. When she came out of the coma, she opened her eyes and could breathe naturally, but she was unresponsive to speech and visual stimuli, and appeared to lack all conscious awareness. She was still in this condition four months after falling ill, and was later diagnosed to be in a persistent vegetative state, or PVS: in other words, persistently unaware. But the diagnosis was wrong.

Although Kate could not speak, or hear properly, or make any kind of signal, or take in sustenance except through a tube into the stomach, she was sometimes aware of herself and her surroundings. She had a raging thirst that was not alleviated by the ward staff. She was racked with pain. Sometimes she’d cry out, but the ward staff thought it was just a reflex action. Kate suffered so much pain and despair that she tried to take her own life by holding her breath.

Christ...that sounds like one of the closest things to hell on Earth.

[edit on 18-5-2009 by theWCH]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 02:40 AM
This is also sometimes known as "locked in syndrome"

The person is unable to move or communicate.

Stephen Hawking has locked in syndrome caused by ALS

posted on May, 20 2009 @ 01:27 PM
I always wondered about this. I always thought that people in the vegetable coma's were in sort of a hibernation mode to preserve what energy they had.

Wow, and that story was incredibly sad.

posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 04:21 PM
Wow, that's really awful.
And terrifying.
I'd hate to be stuck like that, and not be able to let anyone know.
It must be hell.

posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 09:07 PM
Watch the film, Johnny Got His Gun
The film is about a man who is aware, but nearly unable to communicate.


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