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Unresponsive after sedation
My husband suffered a massive stroke 7/12/07.  He was doing well in rehab and then had carotid surgery 9/6/07. After surgery he was sedated for two weeks and developed double pneumonia.  He was taken off sedation 9/20/07 but is unresponsive to commands.  He was given a CT scan and it showed there was no new stroke.  What could be the cause of the unresponsiveness?
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You have my sympathies. I urge you not to give up hope at this point. The physician who stated there "was no stroke" is disingenuous. There is a high probability the procedure caused the death of brain tissue. This does not mean the procedure was not necessary. It was a risk-benefit procedure and I cannot second guess the physicians.  Often general anesthesia in a debilitated patient causes brain damage. In the case of carotid surgury plaque is often dislodged that travels. You will probably never know the real answer.  Damage should be evaluated in terms of symptoms and not an MRI. The question is: "What is the outlook for improvement?'. I don't know the answer to that question, but don't let them talk you into a DNR at this point or give you nonsense about how he will never recover. Keep loving him and hoplding him and hugging him and provide him with as much stimulation as possible. Get him earphones and during the day insure he listens to music. I don't agree with the politicvs of the talk show hosts, but talk shows on an earphone provide much needed aural stimulation to a comatose patient. Good luck.
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