Thousands of coma patients may be conscious but we’re ignoring them, says pioneering neuroscientist


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[–]Nurse49 10.1k points10.1k points10.1k points 15431624326& 40 more (214 children)

This is why I always, always talk to my coma patients. Even if they aren’t conscious, it’s still respectful.

My school taught us to do the same: introduce yourself, walk them through the procedure, what you were doing, etc, much the same as a regular patient.

I’ve sung them songs, held their hands, encouraged them during procedures, turns, etc. I tell them ‘this might sting but it’ll be much better when we fix this’ or ‘you’re doing such a good job on this turn’. I encourage my students and docs to chat with them and me, I put on the music channel so they have something to hear, etc.

This is something I am passionate about, and I feel that this article confirms what I’d hoped and suspected all these years. I will continue to talk to all my coma patients, because that’s what I would want someone to do for my family, so I’ll do it for theirs.

Thank you for listening to my little monologue.

Edit: thank you everyone for such a lovely, supportive, and incredibly kind outpouring of comments, updoots, and questions. I am genuinely excited to try all of the great ideas I’ve seen here, and thank you all so much for your kind words. It has made for a very special start to 2022, thank you all, happy New Year!

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