How long can you live in a minimally conscious state?

How long can you live in a minimally conscious state?

A person may enter a minimally conscious state after being in a coma or vegetative state. In some cases a minimally conscious state is a stage on the route to recovery, but in others it’s permanent. As with vegetative state, a continuing minimally conscious state means it’s lasted longer than 4 weeks.

Can minimally conscious patients move?

Some patients move from coma to the VS. Others may move from coma to partial consciousness. It is rare for a person with severe brain injury to move directly from coma, or the VS, to full consciousness.

Can a person recover from PVS?

Fifty-two percent of adults and 62 percent of children who are in a PVS one month after a traumatic injury recover consciousness within one year. The majority recover within the first six months; recovery after six months is unusual.

How can you help someone in a minimally conscious state?


  1. providing nutrition through a feeding tube.
  2. making sure the person is moved regularly so they don’t develop pressure ulcers.
  3. gently exercising their joints to prevent them becoming tight.
  4. keeping their skin clean.
  5. managing their bowel and bladder – for example, using a catheter to drain the bladder.

What does minimally conscious feel like?

A person who is ‘minimally conscious’ shows some evidence of awareness of themselves or their environment. It is also sometimes referred to as a “low awareness state”. A person who is vegetative might smile spontaneously but a person who is minimally conscious might smile in response to her daughter entering the room.

What is a minimally responsive state?

Definition. The minimally responsive state is an older term that is synonymous with a minimally conscious state (MCS). MCS is a point along a continuum of consciousness in which the patient demonstrates limited awareness of self and the environment.

Can you recover from unresponsive wakefulness?

Those who are young and who experience traumatic brain injury (as opposed to nontraumatic injury) also tend to have a better prognosis. However, recovery is unlikely for patients who remain in a state of unresponsive wakefulness for longer than 12 months.

Has anyone ever recovered from vegetative state?

A woman has regained full consciousness after 28 years in a vegetative state. Munira Abdulla suffered a severe brain injury a car crash in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1991 – when she was 32. For years there were no signs she would ever wake up.

What does conscious but unresponsive mean?

Vegetative state (also known as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome) is when a person is awake, but shows no signs of awareness.

What is the difference between persistent vegetative state and minimally conscious state?

Two different aspects must be assessed: alertness (wakefulness) and awareness. The persistent vegetative state (PVS) is characterized by a lack of reproducible responses to the environment. As soon as simple responses to the environment are seen, the patient is said to be in a minimally conscious state (MCS).

What is damaged in unresponsive wakefulness syndrome?

Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome (UWS) is a very serious brain damage, when cortical parts of the brain are disconnected from brainstem. Brainstem is a center of respiration, gastrointestinal coordination, heartbeat and cranial nerves.

What causes unresponsive wakefulness?

Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome, or UWS, is a result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which causes the brain to halt the ability to create thoughts, experience sensation, and remember past events. Patients in a vegetative state are awake, but show no signs of awareness.

Can a person recover from a minimally conscious state?

Minimally conscious state. Most patients tend to recover consciousness but to a limited extent depending on how long the minimally conscious state has lasted. The longer it has lasted, the less chance of patients recovering higher cortical function. Prognosis may be better if the cause is traumatic brain injury.

What’s the life expectancy of a minimally conscious person?

For most of the rest, life expectancy is about 2 to 5 years; only about 25% of patients live > 5 years. A few patients live for decades. Most patients tend to recover consciousness but to a limited extent depending on how long the minimally conscious state has lasted.

How long does it take to recover from a vegetative state?

Recovery from a vegetative state is unlikely after 1 month if brain damage is nontraumatic and after 12 months if brain damage is traumatic. Even if some recovery occurs after these intervals, most patients are severely disabled.

What’s the difference between a vegetative and minimally conscious state?

Typically, a vegetative state occurs because the function of the brain stem and diencephalon resumes after coma, but cortical function does not. In the minimally conscious state, unlike the vegetative state, there is evidence that patients are aware of themselves and/or their environment.