Sunday, 30 January 2011

Coma Stimulation - When, How, By Who?

What do you do when a friend or loved one is in a coma? Just stay away? Pray and keep your distance? Visit and sit quietly, not really interacting with the patient in the bed? Visit with a whole large group and make a big noise?

Actually there is something you can do and it is called Coma Stimulation. Ideally Coma Stimulation should begin as soon as possible or as soon as the person is medically stable. Many doctors dont know of Coma Stimulation so please request a referal to an Occupational Therapist, preferably a Neuro-Occupational Therapist, meaning an OT who is working and experienced in physical rehabilitation for those following any kind of neurological disorder, illness or injury.

The Occupational Therapist (OT) will evaluate the patient and begin a Coma Stimulation Program. S/he will also teach family and friends what they can do when they visit and what the clear guidelines are.
Preferably Coma Sitmulation should take place daily for 1 - 8 hours a day, depending on the condition of the patient. 

Types of stimulation will include auditory, tactile, visual, olfactory, taste and proprioception / movement.

There are clear guidelines as to how long to carry out each different stimulization for and how many people should be involved at one time. This means also that number of visitors MUST be reduced to one or two at a given time and no talking simultaneously as this is too confusing for a comatosed person. 

How to talk to someone in a coma is also of importance and this MUST be carried out by EVERYONE interacting with the comatosed person. That means also the nurses, doctors, family, physiotherapist, and of course the OT.

If your friend or relative has not received any OT or coma stimulation, don't wait and don't settle for coma stimulation being once a week or less. Your friend or relative or whoever it is you know that is in a coma needs regular Coma Stimulation and it must be daily, once a month, once in two weeks, nothing at all is not acceptable. The recovery and outcome of their condition or situation can be vastly improved by including Coma Stimulation into their therapeutic intervention being offered. So go ahead and request a referal, insist that your friend or loved one receives what can help them to make the most effective recovery possible.

This post was prepared for you by 
Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author


If you are an occupational therapist and interested in the topic of coma and coma stimulation do be in touch to learn with Shoshanah. 
If you are in Israel and have a relative who is in a coma, a doctor's referral is required in order to carryout coma stimulation. Once you obtain permission from the doctor, you are welcome to book a consultation or series of coma stimulation sessions with Shoshanah.

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