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Are There Different Levels of Consciousness in a Vegetative State?

Mellino Law Firm

Similarities Between Minimally Conscious State and Vegetative State

In both states, there are times when the brain-damaged patient will open his/her eyes and experience sleep/wake cycles.

Differences Between Minimally Conscious State and Vegetative State

In a vegetative state the patient won’t:

  • recognize objects;
  • follow commands;
  • communicate; or
  • show emotion.

A minimally conscious patient may be able to do these things; however, the ability may be inconsistent.

Impact of a Traumatic Brain Injury on Levels of Consciousness

The severity of a brain injury can impact the level of consciousness. A mild injury may only cause minor problems, such as disorientation or confusion. A severe injury, on the other hand, can result in unconsciousness.

Recovery from the latter may not progress to full recovery. If someone has slipped into a coma or vegetative state, he or she may regain consciousness, but this is different for each person. Generally, chances of full recovery may be lower for severe injuries than mild ones.

Some may eventually regain the ability to communicate via gestures (hands, head) or words. Simple instructions may be followed and the person may be able to perform basic tasks, such as holding an item, using a straw, or combing his/her hair.

But even those who do recover from a traumatic brain injury and regain consciousness may experience challenges and complications. It’s not uncommon for brain-damaged patients to sustain permanent cognitive or physical impairments.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you have questions about TBI, vegetative state, or coma, contact our office for a free consultation.

Ohio’s statute of limitations only allows a one-year window to pursue compensation for medical bills and other expenses, so don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions. Our Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers can help you with the other factors and build a strong case on your behalf. We combine specialized medical knowledge, exceptional trial skills, and superior negotiating talent to obtain full and fair compensation for clients and to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. In the last three decades, we have established a network of resources to help analyze cases and make sure our clients are well-compensated for their injuries.

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