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January 1989

Talking to Comatose Patients

Author Affiliations

International Coma Recovery Institute 249A Drexel Ave Westbury, NY 11590

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(1):14. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520370016010

To the Editor.  —In "Talking to Comatose Patients,"1 La Puma et al recognize the fundamental need of respect for the helpless. The authors also underline the need to "affirm our own humanity" regardless of how busy the physician's schedule, and no matter what may be the degree of responsiveness of the patient. Finally, the article underlines that "some comatose patients may recover."Unfortunately, the topic of the article does not allow the authors to address all aspects of coma management briefly alluded to in their quote of our report in Lancet.2 In the past ten years, our experience with over 600 patients in acute or prolonged comas supports the conclusions of La Puma et al, and carries the concept of "talking to the comatose patient" a step further; if auditory input may be beneficial, then why not also provide visual or tactile input? Why not stimulate all five

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