First Approach

Below here are 10 essentials for those who are in presence of someone in a coma. (Naturally, the information you find on this website can't replace capable medical care and attendance.)

A Bit of Care


Make sure life is not too hectic around the bed and that you have time and space to listen and be with the person in a respectful way.


Slow down your breathing to match the breathing of the person in the coma. This means you are entering their dream world a little bit.


Introduce yourself each time. Often a brain injured person has forgotten what they knew and need to relearn relationships.


Touch the person with the same respect that you would have touched them before their coma. Touch their wrist when you speak to them to draw their attention to your voice.


Observe everything they do, every movement or sounds they make.


Say aloud any movement or sound made – use it to encourage the patient. For example: say “I saw that eye move, I heard that sound – that’s wonderful!”


Copy anything you see or hear. If someone moves a finger, put your alongside and move it too. You can also lift his finger by putting your finger alongside and so move together. If they grunt, you grunt. Join in!


Amplify just means bigger – so if you see a sign, ask them to do it again and to do it more.


Means asking them to push or you push a little (a very little bit). If they do resist you, say “that’s great! Feel you own power. You can do this!”


Let the person say or feel whatever they want. They may be still trying to sort out something in their dream world or they may be confused about this reality.
You can say “you are in hospital now; you have had a big shock. You are safe and among friends. You can feel all your feelings, see all you are seeing, hear all you are hearing. It is OK we are with you.”

Source: ComaCare