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Had stroke. Given treatment. Got second attack and now in coma. Chances of recovery?

Answered by
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Dr. Mayank Bhargava

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 1658 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 3 Apr 2013 in Brain and Spine
Question: My dad was recovering from a stroke on right side of brain. While still in rehab, he had another stroke on left side. They were unable to give the clot busting drug, as it was within one month since they had administered the last time. Doctors are acknowleding that this is a serious stroke. They took him out of induced coma, and told us that if he does not wake after 2 weeks that chances are not good. It has now been 11 days, and he has not woken up. Does this mean that if he does wake, that his chance of recovery is diminished?
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Answered by Dr. Mayank Bhargava 40 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX,
Welcome to XXXXXXX forum.

Consciousness of a person depends on the performance of brain and its intact tissue.
Strokes are of two types: infarct and hemorrhagic.
Hemorrhagic strokes are of serious type.
Blood of our body when come outside from arteries, is very irritating in nature.
Hemorrhagic blood may clot outside and may cause obstruction of ventricles with increased intracranial pressure.
Large infarct also causes rise in intracranial pressure by causing localized edema.

As stroke has already happened on both side, major part of brain tissue got damage and by localized edema, patient is in comatose state.
As your father got recurrent stroke, cardiac and common carotid artery evaluation is necessary.

Recovery after strokes takes many months and rehabilitation is necessary for optimal recovery.
Maximum recovery occurs with in 6 months and whatever weakness and disability remains after 6 months, may persist for years and life long.

Initial 1-2 weeks are very important in case of hemorrhagic stroke and large infarct.
Sometimes, patient condition may deteriorate and may be lethal.
So if your father is able to sustain past 11 days and still in comatose state, although it is serious but it has some positive sign and you shouldn't kneel down.

You should keep your finger crossed and hope for the best.

Hope that helps.
Let me know if I can address any more concerns.
Take care,
Dr. Mayank Bhargava
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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