Anesthesiology/Induced coma

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Question
I was put into an induced coma for 49 days in 2006 at the age of 46. Should MD's have gotten Physical Therapy for me in this state? They did not. Was put into Hospice Care. Went home 2 months later. Biggest problem now is poor dexterity. Requested records 2 years later. Discharge Summary does not mention coma, move to hospice or drugs given. Is that normal? Think Fentanyl is what they gave me. Thank you, Alan

Answer
OBviously, without looking at the record, it is impossible for me to say what should have been done. Assuming there was no contraindication, they probably should have moved your limbs and fingers (to prevent contractures) as well as turn you (to prevent bed sores). The nurses notes would probably documentthat. As for the discharge summary, I can't say why they didn't mention the coma. Fentanyl was only one of the drugs they gave you (if in fact they put you in an induced coma). Fentanyl is a narcotic and would not keep you in a comatose state alone. They would need some kind of anesthetic (probably Pentobarbital at that time).

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology
UTMB-Galveston

Anesthesiology

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Ronald Levy, M.D.

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Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

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