Q. My friend's father is in a coma after a road accident. What is the prognosis?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 26, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 25, 2021

Hi doctor,

I need some help with the prognosis of my friend's father, who is in a coma due to a road accident, while he was on a bike. He is 76 years old, and his heart stopped, which was resuscitated after some time. His coma score is minimal, and he is in this state from the past 13 days, with no changes. We would like to find out the prognosis and possible likelihood of coming out of the coma. I am attaching all his test reports.



Welcome to

I have seen all the attached reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • The MRI scan is the most important set of images. It shows changes in the hippocampus and thalamus on both sides. This can be due to a condition called as hypoxic encephalopathy, and it occurred due to decreased blood supply to the brain structures when the heart stopped for some time. The thalamus and hippocampus are important areas of the brain, and the thalamus is the relay center, and therefore the coma score is minimal.
  • In this case, it is really difficult to give an accurate prognosis and the expected time by which the patient will come out of the coma since there has been damage to the nerve cells in a very important area of the brain.
  • In the images, we are visualizing structural changes which occurred in the brain. We also need to know the EEG (electroencephalogram) findings, which will give us an idea of the waves generated in the brain. The EEG patterns can predict prognosis.
  • In research on patients with hypoxic encephalopathy, it was found that the outcome is good if the patient comes out of a coma in four days, and it is bad if coma lasts for longer than 24 days.
  • Sorry, that I am unable to give a precise answer on the prognosis and expected the duration of the coma. However, I hope that I could answer some of your questions.

Please do write back with more doubts. Praying for a quick recovery of the patient. Regards.

For more information consult a radiologist online -->

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