Is it possible to recover from a stroke-induced coma?

12 answers | Last updated: Jul 13, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

If an elderly person were to have a stroke and slip into a coma would you expect them to recover?


Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

This is somewhat difficult to answer without having more detail about the cause of the coma, the size of the stroke, the type of stroke, etc. However, in general, if an elderly person slips into a coma after a stroke, the prognosis is very poor. If they come out of their coma, the prognosis for a meaningful recovery (able to feed themselves, walk, talk, clothe themselves, etc.) is also very poor. Therefore, probably best to defer judgement to the doctors that are treating the person, but overall the prognosis sounds quite grim.


Community Answers

Kunle answered...

My dad slipped into a stroke-induced coma and never came out of it. Should it happen I would suggest making final plans for the loved one. Kunle. www.a-speedwireless.com


Ztech1 answered...

I had a major hemmoraghic stroke and was in a coma for 6 1/2 weeks and thanks to my wife, the great doctors at the VA, yes the VA, and the one above. I am here still. So yes I would say it is possible. I did.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My grandmother had a major stroke added with a blood clot in her brain and had another smaller stroke which induced a coma. She has been under for 4 days now and any stories such as the one above are helpful. Hope is running thin at this moment and all we can do is pray. Please keep hope at all times. Once you lose it seems that it all goes downhill


Amba answered...

My grandfather had a major stroke a few weeks ago and another 4 minor strokes from then. He is now asleep and in a vegatative state. He wakes up every few days for about half an hour or so. He still makes noises when moved, moves eyes when they are open, coughs and snores. Is it possible that he will come out of it and still have some quality of life? We are all so confused of what to believe but we are leaving it in gods hands. We think god is testing our faith in him. All we can do is think positive, pray everyday and hope for a miracle.


Christine s answered...

My stepfather, in his nineties, has slipped into a stroke induced coma. He is slowly starving to death. He is breathing through his mouth so they are unable to feed him by a tube. It is agony to watch and I am fast becoming a believer in euthanasia in certain circumstances. We would not allow a dog to endure this horror.


A fellow caregiver answered...

A 47yr old male friend had an ischemic stroke 5 days ago, he has been sleeping for 2 days straight the breathing on his owners. Today he was connected to a feeding tube, then later had to be moved to the icu, and breathing through machines. What are his chances of making it?


Passerby answered...

my father has been in a stroke induced coma because of a major hemorrhagic stroke and he has been in a coma for about 2 days now. chances of surviving is very thin seeing how his breath is getting harder and harder. Doctors couldnt operate him because his condition is at the worst right now. Any suggestions?


Rozz answered...

My mother suffered a massive stroke affecting 75% of her brain. She was in a coma for four days and then died. I really want to know if she would have been aware of anything during those last days. I really hope not as it must have been torture being starved to death and given no fluids. Doctors kept telling me to talk to her but I wonder if they do this to help the relatives. I hope to God she was aware of nothing. Does anyone know??


Ritika answered...

My neighbor and very dear friend slipped into coma 1 day after a massive stroke. She had lost about 45% of her brain cells in that stroke and died 4 days later. She was 47 yrs old. I really miss her. I guess the 1st few hrs matter a lot in terms of medical attention.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Hi my Father-In-Law (76 yrs) had a massive stroke on 4/10. His breathing is normal and measured as 99. He has oxygen attached. He is in coma. Analysis seems to be his left side may have been paralyzed. When given a hand to his right hand he squeezes. 2 days back on his left leg, he had a reflux to pain stimuli. He seems to swallow his saliva and makes some throat noise like coughing. He is not opening his eyes. Today he seems to be wrinkling his closed eyes. What is the prognosis like? Is he improving based on the above responses from him?


Babochka answered...

My husband (67. y.o.) is in a coma for 6 days already after a stroke. He is in ICU intubated and connected to an oxygen. The stroke is in multiple places in both sides of the brain, and around the stem area. He responds to a pain stimuli (posture withdrawal movement), can move his feet and toes, his lips around the tube, is breathing half on his own, but he do not open his eyes. Moreover, sometimes under his closed eyelids his eyes keep rolling down...It is devastating to see him like this. I wonder if I should think about making a dreadful decision to let him go.....