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How do I know if Mom is in a Coma

My mom who is 92 yrs old was a very active vibrant lady and had a massive stroke with swelling just over 1/2 of her brain.
She was just moved to nursing home one day ago and hasn't woke up at all and is a very deep sleep.  Her urine output seems to have stopped....... What are we to look for to know if she has went into a coma ??
7 Responses
Avatar universal
The way to know for sure is to have the doctor order an EEG test done.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the info.  I appreciate it.
Seems like she goes in to a coma and then comes back out.
She has been sound asleep since Apr 26 late night and her eyes finally opened again today at 1pm.  She can't talk and really not sure what is going on anymore.  So upsetting.
Guess she could be like this for weeks, months, or even years.
Just too sad.  
Thanks again for letting me know who to ask and what to ask them to do for test.  
Avatar universal
My mother had a massive stroke that should have taken her life but it didnt. she is in the hospital and is asleep most of the time also. I have have instructed the physical therapy dept. to put her in a cardiac chair which forces her to sit straight up and leaves her feet dangling. My sister dors range of motion with her and on the days she is on the chair and after physical therapy , she is bale to answer a few questions. She gets tired real quick but the chair /physical therapy helps. You should try to visit her daily to make sure she is sat up.
144586 tn?1284666164
Excessive sleepiness is common in the elderly. It is also a symptom of a slow bleed causing pressure to build. The most common cause of such a bleed is simple vitamin K deficiency rectified by a simple daily vitamin supplement. It need not be K, but can take the form of a multi-vitamin. Many nursing facilities do not insist on a daily vitamin supplement. Another cause of sleepiness is due to the endocrine system faily to produce a proper wuantity of signaling substances. Thyroid deficiency is the firt bell that rings. There is a workup, but unfortunately it involves a blood draw. Sleepiness can also be due to a lack of DHEA, but you have to ber very careful in administering DHEA. You can kill an elderly patient with excessive DHEA. 5-7 mg of DHEA put on a banana in the morning before nine shouldn't cause and problems and should increase her alertness, but CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN. I would not administer DHEA without a physicians consultation.
144586 tn?1284666164
Sitting in a comfortable chair is very important. Chair time should be logged. She should not be fed in bed or watch television from bed, but always in a chair. A rocking chair is very helpful, if there is movement in the legs. Rocking chairs are medical devices that dramatically enhance circulation in the legs. You need two kinds of wheelchair. One has four small wheels for use within a room. The other uses pneumatic or resilient tires and is used outdoors. Most care providers often only give you a hard plastic rimmed wheelchair which is neither fish not fowl. The small four-wheel wheelchairs swivel easily and the recovering stroke patient can push themselves with their feet around the room. This becomes a very satisfying activity to the patient. At first they will only be able to kick the chair backwards, but then they will manage side to side, and then with assistance, use their feet to move foward.  The use of the four wheel wheelchiar should be part of a rehabilitation program. That is to say it is a means, rather than an end. Stroke recovering patients often do not understand what you want them to do. Take your time and mime the actions, or tap them on the arm and point from where they are to where you want them to go. You want to encourage them to "help" move themselves with their feet.  The small wheelchair chould be used to transfer her from bed to chair and vice versa. You need a good chair for the care provider to sit next to her. The position of an aide when on duty is SITTING NEXT TO THE PATIENT, preferably holding his/her hand. Not sitting across the room on the cellphone.
144586 tn?1284666164
One of the big problems with the excessive sleepiness is that the patient does not hydrate during this period. The lack of hydration, in turns, causes a "cascade" of undesireable problems. Try using a baby bottle to keep hydration up during periods of "sleepiness". The patient will sometimes such on a baby bottle of water when they are too comatose to hold or sip from a cup. Never hydrate or feed while the patient is flat. Always sitting up or reclining.
144586 tn?1284666164
It is unfortunate that many nursing homes don't insist that patients be placed in chairs in a sitting position for several hours, even when they are in a "coma". This will increase alertness through a variety of mechanisms.
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