Permanent vs. Persistent Vegetative State

April 5, 2013 | Product Liability

There are two types of vegetative states: persistent and permanent. The type of vegetative state a person is in largely depends on the length of time they have been in their condition. Care for these individuals can be costly, and families of victims may consult Ohio brain injury lawyers to review whether a claim may be filed against a negligent individual responsible for the incident that led to the condition. 

What is a vegetative state? 

This is a condition that stems from various types of brain damage, occurring after a patient has come out of a coma. Though people in vegetative states are physically awake, they have no cognitive awareness.

Specifically, they are unaware of the people and environment that surrounds them and are unable to process or understand speech. They also cannot feel bodily sensations and they are unable to think, recall memories or feel emotions.

A person in a vegetative state experiences nearly the same symptoms as when they were in a coma, except their body is fully awake. They are able to sleep and wake up, make reflex movements, move their mouth and grip objects.

Permanent vs. Persistent Vegetative State 

When a person has been in a diagnosed vegetative state for at least four weeks straight, this is considered a persistent vegetative state. This classification can last up to six months if the vegetative state was not a result of traumatic brain damage, or one year if the state was the result of traumatic brain damage. After the six month or one year mark passes, if the person is still in this state, it is known as a permanent vegetative state.

The longer a person is in this state, the less likely they will recover from it. Recovery from vegetation relies on a number of other factors as well, including the patient’s age, the type of brain damage and the level of brain damage that they experienced. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Some patients may regain a degree of awareness after persistent vegetative state. Others may remain in that state for years or even decades.”

This state can come about for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are the result of medical malpractice. Anyone who believes their loved one entered a vegetative state because of medical errors should speak to an Ohio brain injury lawyer.

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