Definition of Coma

In this article, we will discuss the Definition of Coma. So, let’s get started.


Coma is defined as a persistent loss of consciousness in which the subject lies with eyes closed and shows no understandable response to an external stimulus or inner need. The coma may vary in degree; and in deep coma, i.e. corneal, pupillary, pharyngeal reflexes are lost. The tendon and plantar reflexes also become absent. With lesser degree of coma (precoma), pupillary reflexes, reflex ocular movements and other brainstem reflexes are preserved and there may or may not be rigidity of the limbs and extensor plantar response.

The term coma refers to a deep sleep-like state from which the patient cannot be aroused. The stupor refers to a sleep-like state from which the patient can be aroused with vigorous stimuli and the patient tries to avoid the stimuli. Drowsiness means light sleep-like state from which patients can easily arouse and there is a brief period of alertness.

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