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How Long Can You Be In A Coma Before You Die?

How Long Can You Be In A Coma Before You Die?

Coma indicates a deep unconsciousness of a person. This means, an individual in coma state remains alive, but fails to wake up. Some individuals in coma fail to give response in an appropriate way about what exactly is taking place or who is coming in front of them.

How Long Can You Be In A Coma Before You Die?

Special parts present in a human brain are responsible for controlling people’s ability to give responses or to wake up. Coma problem takes place because of-

  • Trauma (physical, mental or both).
  • Head injuries.
  • Brain tumor.
  • Overdose of alcohol or any toxic drug.

Duration for Lasting Coma

Doctors often face difficulty to predict the exact number of days/weeks/months, for which a person will stay in coma. However, coma in rare cases last for about 2 weeks to 4 weeks. In contrast, persistent vegetative state of an individual may last for many years. A few people never wake up from their coma states.

Others wake up with a large number of emotional, physical and intellectual problems. In fact, recovery of a person depends mainly on severity of suffered injury. However, no one can wake up from the coma state suddenly; instead, it involves a gradual procedure and each person recovers from it with a varying rate.

Coma and Patients’ Dying Days

Most of the family members worry about the way, by which they identify how patients actually die than become sick. Doctors said that answer to this question is difficult, as everyone in this sector has witnessed coma patients, as living for relatively long or short time than the actual expectation of their lifetime.

In general, whenever death of a coma patient comes close, the patient experiences sudden severe pain, but this is a seldom case. A few people become agitated or confused during the last few weeks of their lives. Irrespective of one’s mental status, a person shows social withdrawal to some extent. Particularly, dying people face difficulty in social interaction or eternity feelings or conversation become less important for them.

How Long Can You Be In A Coma Before You Die?

Coma Period of Patients before Death

Comas in people last from many days to multiple weeks. In some of the severe cases, coma will last for more than five weeks, which a few people experience coma for many years. After this period, a few patients overcome from the coma state gradually, a few of them went to vegetative state and others suffer death.

Outcome for coma depends primarily on the specific location, cause, extent and severity associated with neurological damages of a person. Deep coma alone does not essentially indicate less chance of recovery. This is because; many people deal with deep coma succeeding to recover in a well manner, while others even though stay in mild type of coma fail to achieve any improvement.

People may overcome/emerge from coma with a combination of many physical, psychological and intellectual difficulties, all of which require special attentions. Recovery in this case takes place in a gradual manner, so that patients may gain higher ability to give responses properly. Some of the patients do not able to show progress beyond the basic ones, but most of them recover complete awareness.

Regaining of the consciousness state does not take place instantly. In the initial few days, the patients stay awake only for some minutes and later on, duration of their awakening time increases gradually. In reality, coma patients awake many times in a profound confusion state, not knowing anything or any of their relatives. Even a few people suffer from the problem of dysarthria i.e., incapability of articulating speech and other disabilities.


  1. “Coma.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coma/symptoms-causes/syc-20370987
  2. “Coma.” MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/coma.html
  3. “Coma: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment.” HealthLine. https://www.healthline.com/health/coma

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 21, 2023

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