• Marialuisa Bozza-Marrubini


Coma, the ‘deep sleep’ of ancient Greeks, is currently defined in neurology as ‘unarousable unresponsiveness’ [120]. Other definitions are all centered on the abolition of consciousness and on defects in the arousal mechanisms (Table 42.1). In the care of critically ill patients the term ‘coma’ is commonly used in the broader sense of a disturbance in consciousness, with all its physiopathological consequences. “Impaired or decreased consciousness reflects severe brain dysfunction, and coma means brain failure [our italics], just as uremia means renal failure” [120].


Severe Head Injury Persistent Vegetative State Severe Brain Injury Brain Failure Traumatic Coma 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marialuisa Bozza-Marrubini

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