First aid for coma

Comatose individuals cannot be revived by external stimuli such as firm pressure with the knuckles on the breastbone. Some states of coma resemble simple fainting but call for different medical procedures.
A deep state of unconsciousness resulting from illness or injury is known as coma. The vital first-aid measure for coma is to ensure that there is a clear airway. Unconsciousness can be caused by heart failure, cerebral haemorrhage, epilepsy, diabetic coma, skull fracture and any of the emergency conditions described above. First-aid treatment for coma is limited to keeping the unconscious person comfortable by loosening his/her clothes. If the victim's face is flushed, the head and shoulders may be raised slightly. Obversely, if the victim's face is pale, the feet may be slightly elevated. In epilepsy, all the first-aider should do is protect the victim of a seizure from self-injury by removing any surrounding obstacles. If breathing ceases, artificial respiration should be administered. Diabetic patients often carry identification cards, indicating the cause of any possible unconsciousness.


Whatever the injury, in severe cases the victim must be protected against shock. Shock is the depressed condition of many body functions owing to the failure of enough blood to circulate through the body; following serious injury. It is caused by severe blood loss, severe burns, infection or major injuries. The symptoms of shock are pale and clammy skin, bluish lips, weak but rapid pulse, shallow breathing and nausea. These symptoms may not be apparent immediately, as shock may develop several hours after the accident. To avoid this serious complication, which may result in death, the victim should not be overheated by heaping blankets or coats on him/her. Warming the skin causes dilatation of the skin vessels and reduces the blood available to the brain and heart. Therefore, rapidly warming up the patient can be fatal. The victim should not be given any food or drink. Neither drugs nor alcohol should be given.

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