Easier Way for Testing Coma Patients
Understanding the level of consciousness of a patient’s after a severe craniocerebral injury can be a very difficult task, even for experts. However, a team of scientists from the University of Liege in Belgium have developed a new way for measuring the different degrees of consciousness. This new method is great for everyday use and is simple enough to be used by families as well.
It has been noted that many people with consciousness disorders have been able to resist having their eyes opened by someone else. The study aimed to investigate if this resistance was caused by a reflex resulting from overstimulation of the eyelids or whether it was the patients purposely closing their eyes, which would indicate consciousness.
Researchers studied resistance to eye opening and recorded 108 patients for 28 months for one week at a time. Furrowed brows and corneal reflexes were observed and recorded for just about all the participants in the study, but only 22 of them were labeled for exhibiting resistance to eye opening. Many repeated assessments of these individuals are necessary due to levels of consciousness changing frequently. Much more research is necessary in this field because with these new findings, scientists are seeing that many patients could potentially be medically abandoned too early.