Doctors in Europe were left amazed after one of their patients who was in a “minimally conscious state” started talking and behaving normally all of a sudden in the midst of a medical procedure. According to Yahoo News, the incident happened in Italy after the man was administered a sedative as part of a treatment procedure. Instead of making the patient sleep, the sedative known as midazolam has apparently managed to help him regain consciousness – after two years!
According to LiveScience, the 43-year-old man was involved in a near-fatal car crash that had initially left him comatose. After being in a vegetative state for over a month and a half, the victim regained some consciousness but was still in what doctors call a “minimally conscious state” where he was only able to open his eyes and sit up. He was unable to communicate with others or respond to simple commands. The man spent nearly 10 months in the hospital without any improvement in his condition in this minimally conscious state. After he was discharged, his condition actually worsened to a point where he had started moving his hands – making aimless gestures. His doctors in the meantime continued with his treatment for nearly two years.
Recently, doctors at the hospital where he was undergoing treatment decided to conduct a CT scan on him. To prepare the patient for the procedure, he was administered a dose of a sedative known as midazolam. A few minutes after midazolam was injected into his body, the man surprised his doctors when he regained full consciousness and started talking and acting normally. In fact, the man startled the doctors nearby after he simply started talking to an anesthetist who was standing near his bed.
According to doctors at the hospital where the incident happened, the man acted normally after he regained consciousness.
“He talked by cellphone with his aunt and congratulated his brother when he was informed of his graduation; he recognized the road leading to his home.”
The doctors added that the victim was not able to remember the accident he was involved in – nor did he show any realization about the fact that the accident had affected his health in an adverse manner. While the man’s friends and relatives were glad to see him talking as if nothing happened, things started going downhill after the effects of the sedative midazolam started to wane. The man went back to his unresponsive, minimally conscious state once again. Doctors were however able to bring him “back to life” by administering another dose of the sedative.
Later, in a case study presented by the doctors who treated this patient they confirmed that this was the first instance where they confirmed that midazolam had an “awakening” effect on this patient. Following the discovery that a “minimally conscious” patient could be brought to life using particular types of sedatives, doctors treating the man started using carbamazepine (an epilepsy drug) on him, which has also shown promising results.
Doctors are now using this drug to keep the accident victim maintain consciousness and help improve his ability to interact and communicate with people. They are hopeful that the drug could one day bring a permanent cure to conditions like these.
[Image Via YouTube]