Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Man in ‘coma’ heard everything for 23 years (locked-in syndrome)
You don't see these types of stories every day. According to this MSNBC story, Rom Houben says he lay trapped in his paralyzed body, aware of what was going on around him but unable to tell anyone or even cry out. He was in this type of situation for 23 years. Yes, this is a story of "locked-in syndrome." It's one of those things you may hear during your ICU rotations, but you'll probably never see a case of it. You don't want to miss this diagnosis and label someone with vegetative state. Houben had a PET scan that led clinicians to believe that he actually had normal brain activity. His body was physically locked from moving, but his brain was functional.
Thanks to modern technology, this 46-year-old is now communicating with one finger and a special touchscreen on his wheelchair. To read the story, click here.