Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Coma (MedlinePlus)

Coma – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/coma.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How long do comas commonly last?
  • What are the signs of locked-in syndrome?
  • What are the causes of diabetic coma?
  • What can laypeople do for diabetic coma patients while waiting for emergency services?
  • What is the difference between stupor and coma?


This is a MedlinePlus topics page on coma and has links to articles on coma and specific conditions such as diabetic comas and locked-in syndrome. This last condition is can be very frightening for a character because they will be aware of their surroundings but be unable to communicate that awareness to the world except through eye movements. Captain Pike in the episode “The Cage” of Star Trek TOS seems like he had locked in syndrome.

This section also links to guides to determining brain death.


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