Coma is a state of prolonged unconsciousness that can result from various causes, including traumatic head injury, stroke, brain tumor, or drug or alcohol intoxication. It can also be triggered by underlying illnesses such as diabetes or infections.

It’s a medical emergency that requires prompt intervention to preserve life and brain function. Doctors typically conduct blood tests and brain scans to identify the cause of the coma and initiate appropriate treatment.

Most comas don’t last longer than several weeks. Individuals who remain unconscious for an extended period may transition to a persistent vegetative state or brain death.


Common symptoms of a coma typically encompass:

  • Closed eyes.
  • Limb responses are limited to reflex movements.
  • Lack of response to painful stimuli, except for reflex movements.
  • Depressed brainstem reflexes, such as pupils unresponsive to light.
  • Irregular breathing.

A coma is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical attention for the person in a coma.


A coma can result from a wide range of issues. Here are a few instances:

  • Stroke. Blocked arteries or ruptured blood vessels can cause a stroke, which is defined as a reduced or interrupted blood supply to the brain.
  • Brain trauma injuries. These are frequently brought on by violent crimes or auto accidents.
  • Seizures. Ongoing seizures can result in a coma.
  • Insufficient oxygen. Individuals who have been saved from drowning or who have had a heart attack may not wake up because their brain isn’t getting enough oxygen.
  • Diabetes. A coma may result from abnormally high or low blood sugar levels.
  • Infections. The brain, spinal cord, or tissues around the brain swelling as a result of infections including encephalitis and meningitis. Severe infections of these kinds can cause a coma or brain damage.
  • Tumors. Comas can be brought on by tumors in the brain or brainstem.
  • Toxins. Toxin exposure, such exposure to lead or carbon monoxide, can result in a coma and damage to the brain.
  • Alcohol and drug use. A coma may arise from a drug or alcohol overdose.