DefinitionA coma is a state of deep unconsciousness that a person cannot be woken from. A person in a coma cannot react to events in the environment.
CausesInformation about your environment is normally passed from the brainstem into the rest of the brain. This feedback allows a person to be aware of and react to the environment. A coma is caused by a breakdown in this system.
|Brainstem and Cerebrum|
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- Severe head injury—most often a result of car accidents, violence, or falls.
- Brain illness such as:
- Lack of oxygen to the brain which may be due to:
- Severe general illness such as:
- Severe bodily infections
- Severe acute liver or kidney failure
- High carbon dioxide levels
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Toxicity from poisons, medication, alcohol , or drugs
- Abnormal hormone levels, such as from the thyroid or adrenal gland
- Abnormal blood chemistries, such as sodium or calcium
- Very low or very high levels of blood sugar
- Very low or very high body temperatures
- Severe nutrient deficiency
- Liver failure
- Kidney failure
- Inherited metabolic diseases
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