Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury And Coma

There are few things more emotionally trying than having a loved one in the hospital in a coma. Whether your loved one was placed into a medically induced coma to decrease brain swelling or became comatose after a motorcycle or automobile accident, there is no question that he or she suffered a catastrophic injury.

What is a Tampa Bay Coma?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders[1 and Stroke defines a coma as “a profound or deep state of unconsciousness.” Coma[2] is a state of profound unconsciousness in which the patient is incapable of conscious behavior.  Coma implies dysfunction of the cerebral hemispheres, the upper brain stem, or both areas.  In such injuries, you see bleeding into the brain and swelling and congestion of damaged tissue. In extreme cases, the swelling is so extensive that portions of the brain are forcibly squeezed outside of the skull.

Prognosis After Coma

Since nerve cells can regenerate, a coma may resolve itself within one to two weeks after a severe traumatic brain injury. How quickly a person emerges from a coma depends on how the brain injury was caused and its severity.

The outcome of a patient can be associated with their best response in the first twenty-four hours after injury. Using the Glasgow Coma Scale[3] (3 to 15, with 3 being a person in a coma with the lowest possible score, and 15 being a normal appearing person) research shows that if the best scale is 3 to 4 after twenty-four hours, 87% of those individuals will either die or remain in a vegetative state and only 7% will had a moderate disability or good recovery. In patients who have a scale from 11 to 15, only 7% will be expected to die or remain in a coma, while 87% would expect to have at least a moderate disability and/or good recovery.

  • Most comas end with eye opening and regaining of consciousness.
  • 10% of patients who open their eyes fail to regain consciousness.
  • The absence of eye opening in the first thirty days after injury is indicative of a poor prognosis.
  • 90% of brain injured patients who are vegetative for one month or longer will fail to improve to a state better than severe disability.
  • Two-thirds of patients who were unconsciousness for two weeks or less may make a moderate to good recovery.

Other State of Tampa Bay Unconsciousness

In addition to coma, there are several other states of unconsciousness that can result from a traumatic brain injury.

  • Brain death: Brain death[4] is when all brain activity stops. It is irreversible, and typically the result of a severe or widespread injury to the brain.
  • Vegetative state: Like a coma, a person in a vegetative state[5] does not respond to voices, smell, or touch or appear to comprehend language. But unlike a comatose individual, someone in a vegetative state does open their eyes, may make noises, and can go through a normal sleep/wake cycle. A vegetative state lasting more than 30 days is called a persistent vegetative state. If the patient remains in this condition for at least 12 months after a brain injury, their chances of recovery are very slim.

Compensation for Coma After a Tampa Bay Accident

Pursuing compensation after a Tampa Bay accident that caused a coma means holding the negligent party responsible for the financial damage and suffering the accident has caused. The experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can help your loved one recover the following types of compensation.

Economic Damage

– Past and future medical treatment
– Lost wages and earning potential
– Skilled Nursing Facility care
– Cost of necessary medical devices
– Rehabilitative care

Non-Economic Damage

– Loss of happiness
– Emotional distress and damages
– Lasting physical or emotional suffering

Contact a Tampa Bay Brain Injury Lawyer

If your loved one suffered a brain injury that resulted in coma, it is important to speak to an experienced Tampa Bay brain injury attorney as soon as possible.  At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled brain injury lawyers has helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses including lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] http://www.ninds.nih.gov
[2] http://www.headinjury.com/coma.htm
[3] http://www.braininjury.com/coma.shtml
[4] http://www.donorrecovery.org/learn/understanding-brain-death/
[5] http://www.brainline.org/landing_pages/categories/coma.html

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