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Brother in coma - will he ever wake up?
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Brother in coma - will he ever wake up?

My brother underwent the very common procedure of removing his tonsils sometime in March this year. The surgery went well and he was discharged from the hospital. After recuperating for a week at home, one night at 3.00 am, he woke up bleeding profusely from his nose and mouth. We rushed him to the ER and were informed that his heart stopped in the ICU for 5 minutes before they managed to get it started again.

The doctors were worried about brain damage due to the lack of oxygen when his heart stopped and decided to give him anesthetic to 'rest' his brain. We were told to wait for about 4-5 days as they would need to monitor his progress. During that week, we were told that there was swelling in his brain and he periodically had fever. Weeks went by with slight progress..and he continued to remain in a coma even after being weaned off the drugs and anesthesia.

The doctor diagnosed that he had anoxic/hypoxic brain injury and there was little chance of him ever recovering from the coma. It has been 3 months since he was first rushed into the ER and he has improved slightly from being in an state where he does not react at all to any stimulations or tests to now where he moves his fingers/legs and blinks almost like in response to certain things like the sound of a person clapping.

We have brought him home now and hired caretakers to look after him around the clock..

What I would like to enquire is...are there any treatments that could prove helpful for a patient in his condition? Is there a chance that he would one day regain more brain function and consciousness? Is there anything we can do or try that could prove to give us a glimmer of hope? Everything that has happened in the past few months have been such a shock to us as well as his wife..he also has two young kids who need their father.

Would really appreciate it if anyone could provide me with some guidance..or advice..Thank you
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Square one is to tell you NOT to give up hope.

Three months is far to early to give up. Prayer helps. There is someone upstairs.

Square two is I don't like the story they gave you. I am not a happy camper with that story. You have a tort action against the hospital and physicians and must contact an attorney immediately. This is going to make things dicey between you and the physicians but it is necessary. You need to request via FOI every piece of paperwork that is connected with his treatment, both pre and post vent.  It will probably require what is called a subpoena duces tecum (request for documents)
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
I am sorry to hear about your brother. “Recovering from anoxic brain damage is difficult. Many factors contribute to the degree and rate of recovery. Anoxic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe. The length of time spent in a coma, coupled with how much normal function is recovered within the first month of the injury can indicate the chance of long-term recovery. People who have experienced severe anoxic brain injury may remain in a coma or vegetative state. Their chance of recovery may be minimal.
Cases of moderate anoxic brain injury have a better outcome, but recovery may still take months or years. People with mild anoxic brain injury usually make a full or nearly full recovery, and are able to live lives that are relatively normal and symptom free.” Discuss these factors with your brother’s doctor.
During rehabilitation the patient and his or her family will work with a multidisciplinary staff including doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and other specialists to devise an individualized program designed to return the patient to the maximum level of function. The rehabilitation phase may include:
• Speech therapy
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Recreational therapy
• Adaptive equipment training
• Counseling
Normally we do not give you links. But as a special case for your better understanding you can read through this: http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/traumatic-brain-injury-types/anoxic-brain-injury/index.html
Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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