Coma | Definition and Patient Education
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What causes coma? 40 possible conditions

A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness. A coma occurs when a part of the brain is damaged, either temporarily or permanently. This damage results in unconsciousness, an inability to awake, and unresponsiveness to stimuli such as pain, sound, and... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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2

Cardiogenic Shock

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart has been damaged to the point where it's unable to supply enough blood to the organs of the body.

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3

Dehydration

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Dehydration takes place when your body loses more fluid than you drink. The most common cause of water loss from the body is excessive sweating.

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4

Low Blood Sodium (Hyponatremia)

Low blood sodium, or hyponatremia, occurs when water and sodium are out of balance in your body. A quick drop in sodium levels can cause weakness, headache, nausea, and muscle cramps.

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5

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Also known as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar can be a dangerous condition. Hypoglycemia is rare in people who are not suffering from diabetes, the chronic disease that affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar...

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6

Intracerebral Hemorrhage

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is when blood suddenly bursts into brain tissue, causing damage to the brain. Symptoms usually appear suddenly during ICH.

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7

Septicemia

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Septicemia is bacterial infection spread through the entire vascular system of the body. If untreated it can result in sepsis, a life-threatening inflammation.

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8

Brain Hypoxia

Brain hypoxia, also called cerebral hypoxia, is decreased oxygen in the brain. You are at risk for this condition if you are drowning, choking, suffocating, or in cardiac arrest.

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9

Brain Abscess

An abscess of the brain is usually the result of a bacterial or fungal infection. The infection will cause your brain to swell from the collection of pus and dead cells that form. A brain abscess can form when fungi...

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10

Encephalitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain tissue. It's most often caused by viral infections. In some cases, bacterial infections can cause encephalitis.

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11

Eclampsia

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Eclampsia is a rare but serious condition that causes seizures during pregnancy. You can develop eclampsia even if you don't have a history of seizures.

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12

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious complication that stems from diabetes. If you don't have enough insulin to help your body process sugars (glucose), your body will start burning fat to fuel itself. As a result...

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13

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Learn about carbon monoxide poisoning and what causes it. Find information on carbon monoxide symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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14

Meningitis

Meningitis can affect you differently depending on your age. Learn more about the symptoms and risk factors for each age group.

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15

Acute Kidney Tubular Necrosis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Acute kidney tubular necrosis is caused when blood cannot reach the tissues and cells of the kidneys due to a blockage or restriction. This causes damage.

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16

Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare condition that occurs when your kidneys are not able to conserve water. It results in extreme thirst for water and frequent urination. There are several types of DI, and they can ofte...

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17

Addisonian Crisis (Acute Adrenal Crisis)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An Addisonian crisis occurs when levels of cortisol suddenly drop. Learn more about an Addisonian crisis, including symptoms, risk factors, and treatment.

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18

Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is a serious illness that can be life-threatening and requires immediate treatment. The condition is sometimes called nephritis.

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19

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the progressive and irreversible destruction of the kidneys. The most common causes of CKD are high blood pressure and diabetes.

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20

Amphetamine Dependence

Amphetamines are a type of stimulant and can be highly addictive. Consistent amphetamine dependence can lead to overdose, brain damage, and even death.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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