The Neurocritical Care Society Announces March 22 as World Coma Day to Raise Awareness of Coma as a Treatable and Recoverable Clinical Condition
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Dartmouth shout out for World Coma Day (Photo: Business Wire)
In late 2019, NCS launched the Curing Coma Campaign as its signature clinical, scientific and public health effort. The Curing Coma Campaign is the first global public health initiative targeted at healthcare providers, patients, caregivers and allied organizations, to tackle the unifying concept of coma as a treatable medical entity. The goal of the Curing Coma Campaign is to develop and implement coma treatment strategies that improve patient outcomes.
“There is hope for patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness, which may result from brain injury or other illness or injury. Our sole mission with the Curing Coma Campaign is to improve patient outcomes as related to coma,” said Wendy Ziai, MD, MPH Professor of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University and Member of the NCS Curing Coma Campaign Scientific Steering Committee. “A major goal of the Curing Coma Campaign is to study the underlying causes and mechanisms affecting patient consciousness and responsiveness. Only when we more fully understand the biological mechanisms – the what and the why – can we design effective studies to hopefully bring therapies – the how – to promote recovery from coma.”
A major component will be using advanced diagnostic techniques to determine what is known as covert consciousness or cognitive motor dissociation, which show if the brain is responding purposefully and give providers information to determine recovery. The Curing Coma Campaign aims to “change the game” by moving beyond the limitations imposed by considering a specific phase of illness such as subacute/chronic or disorder-specific investigation in order to cover the entire disease narrative, from ictus to outcome, and articulate a comprehensive and rational clinical taxonomy of severe disorders of consciousness.
“We shouldn’t always assume that the physical characteristics of coma define a patient’s capacity to improve; instead, we want to understand what is going on with the biology to effectively develop and implement treatments to impact recovery,” said Claude Hemphill, MD, MAS, Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco and Co-Chair of NCS’ Curing Coma Campaign. “It is time to dispense with the notion of coma as inherently non-recoverable and non-treatable; science and practice can lead to improved patient outcomes. We seek the commitment and help from a broad community of providers, researchers, patients and families, and advocates. This is the spirit of World Coma Day.”
On March 22, World Coma Day, program kicks off with insights from industry-leading advocates and professionals as well as patients who have recovered from coma. The 24-hour global online event will feature stories of remarkable recovery, science talks by medical experts, educational sessions for patients and families, and live "shout out" videos from intensive care and rehabilitation units around the world.
About Neurocritical Care Society
With more than 2,700 members, the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) is a multidisciplinary, international organization whose mission is to improve the outcomes for patients with life-threatening neurological illnesses. Our membership is comprised of physicians, pharmacists, nurses and advanced practice providers who treat a wide range of neurological conditions including stoke, traumatic brain injury and post-cardiac arrest. NCS offers a plethora of educational products, as well as certifications, research, and resources to neuroscience practitioners globally to ensure the delivery of the most optimal and equitable care to patients and educates clinicians on best practices in the neuroscience. NCS is headquartered in Chicago. Please visit us at www.neurocriticalcare.org.
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Source: Neurocritical Care Society