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PB04 07-18-2015 09:31 PM

What is this condition called?
It has been extremely difficult to wake up my wife's grandmother the past two days, to the point that we almost thought she was in a coma. In the end, she only woke up after her son literally bit her shoulder ( they live in China, and the medical system in their city is not trusted, nor do they want to take her to the hospital unless there is a reasonable chance that she can be helped)

Her grandmother has been in poor health for years ( may have had multiple mini strokes)and hasn't been able to get out of bed or move without help for over a year. She is also often not very lucid, though this may partially be related to the fact that she is almost blind.

She has still ate and drank a little the past two days after waking up.Only other thing I can think of symptom wise is that she has a bed sore, though there are no signs of infection or fever.

The main thing is I haven't been able to find a medical term for this sort of near comatose state ( though once she wakes up she responds to questions).Thank you for any and all help in providing thoughts on what this could be called?

Bob652 07-20-2015 05:55 AM

There are many many different causes of these symptoms. Without a physical exam and tests, it might not be possible to determine the problem. The most important thing to do is make sure that she is drinking water and eating.

Has she ever had any problems with diabetes or or blood sugar? One of the first things always checked here in the U.S. is blood glucose levels to see if they are high or low. Besides that, heart failure, another mini stroke, nutrition deficiencies, dehydration, and many other things could cause this.

Harri3t 07-20-2015 08:01 AM

Re: What is this condition called?
As bob said, there are many different causes of these symptoms and it would be impossible to determine the cause without a hands on assessment. Her state of consciousness would be termed somewhere between obtunded and stuporous if you're looking for medical terms. I don't know what the system is like in China, but if she were here, I would have her at least evaluated. There may be nothing to be done curewise but she and her family may learn of ways to keep her more comfortable.

In the elderly and those in poor health, fever may not be seen with an infection. And bed sores can develop and worsen very quickly. I would be concerned about that. If the family decides not to have her evaluated then in the US, common simple steps to prevent bed sores and help them heal if present, would be providing a high quality diet with lots of high quality protein (assuming kidney function is healthy) and vitamins, and making sure they drink and stay hydrated as long as they are awake enough to do so.

Thickened fluids (like puddings, gelatins and thickened soups) are usually easier to swallow than unthickened ones if there is a question of stroke and/or swallowing problems. Coughing when taking sips of water is often a sign of a swallowing problem.

Pressure on any one and all areas should be rotated so position is changed every 2 hours. She may need to be turned side to side gently in bed and propped with pillows as needed if she is not doing this herself. Keeping her dry is also important as waste products and wetness on the skin can be irritating and cause more and faster breakdown.

I wish your wife's grandmother and family the best and wish you all comfort. Blessings to all of you.

Scarletxolo 08-09-2015 08:20 AM

Re: What is this condition called?
As what both of the repliers said, I think they both are correct, and my advice is same for you. I just hope that your grandmother is not bedridden, and she will be fine.

I hope your grandmother get well soon.;)

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