A coma is an emergency medical condition. If you are with a person who develops signs and symptoms of a coma, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
When you arrive at the hospital, emergency room staff will need as much information as possible from family and friends about what happened to the affected person before the coma. On the way to the hospital, you may be asked the following questions while riding in the ambulance:
Aug. 14, 2015
- Did the coma start abruptly or gradually?
- Were there problems with vision, dizziness or numbness beforehand?
- Does the affected person have any history of diabetes, seizures or strokes?
- Did you notice any changes in the affected person's health in the time leading up to the coma, such as a fever or worsening headache?
- Did you notice any changes in the affected person's ability to function in the time leading up to the coma, such as frequent falls or confusion?
- Did the affected person use any prescription or nonprescription drugs?
- Overview of coma and impaired consciousness. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/coma-and-impaired-consciousness/overview-of-coma-and-impaired-consciousness. Accessed July 15, 2015.
- Edlow JA, et al. Diagnosis of reversible causes of coma. The Lancet. 2014; 384:2064.
- Rosengart A, et al. Coma. In: Critical Care Medicine: Principles of Diagnosis and Management in the Adult. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 15, 2015.
- Young GB. Stupor and coma in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 15, 2015.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com Accessed July 15, 2015.
- NINDS coma information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/coma/coma.htm. Accessed July 15, 2015.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 15, 2015.
- Rabinstein AA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 20, 2015.