Top 10 Interesting Facts About Being In A Coma

Chances are, we all know people who have experienced a coma. It's possible that some of you even know what it's like being in a coma. This tragic state of unconsciousness can often be scary. There are several signs to look for in people to tell if they are having a coma. Also, there are several interesting facts about being in a coma that you might not have known. Being in a coma is way different than sleeping and dreaming, and I've compiled a list of interesting facts that you may not have known.


1. The word "coma" comes from the greek word "koma" meaning "deep sleep". This means that the ancient Greeks probably assumed that those who were comatose were experiencing heavy sleep, instead of suffering from unconsciousness.

2. Unconsciousness is not considered a coma unless a person has been unresponsive for over 6 hours.

3. Typically, internal problems such as head trauma, stroke, or intoxication are factors that cause people to be comatose, however, sometimes medical doctors will induce a coma so that the patient will not be able to feel extreme physical pain.

4. There is a scale named the "Glasgow Coma Scale" that ranks unconscious patients using numbers ranking how well they are responding that gauges the extremity of their coma.

5. Two dilated pupils can be a sign of a person being comatose, as well as one eye being dilated and the other one not being dilated. These can be tested even more accurately by seeing if the eyes are reacting to light.

6. Though a coma patient is in a state of unconsciousness, they are still able to move. Having a coma is in fact an element that can increase the likelihood of having a seizure.

7. The most common cause of death for a person in a prolonged coma that is unable to wake up from the unconsciousness, is a secondary infection that may take place within the body. After a long period being comatose or brain dead, the infection may slip in easier due to weakened immune systems.

8. The longest period of time for a coma that has ever been recorded happened to Elaine Esposito, who was comatose for 37 years and 111 days. She did not wake up from her coma before she died.

9. Sometimes people can wake up from comas after extremely long periods of being comatose. Terry Wallis woke up from a coma after 19 years, and was able to function somewhat regularly.

10. Sometimes a coma will lead to people being in a vegetative state. A person in a vegetative state can still become aware, but several people remain in vegetative states for years.