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The word coma is frightening. It conjures up visions of loved ones asleep for years with no hope of waking up. Or it’s confused with the term persistent vegetative state, which although similar has a much lower level of brain activity than a coma.

So if a coma is bad, why would a doctor want to put someone in one?

According to WebMD a medically induced coma is “part of a protocol used for patients called advanced cardiac life support, or ACLS. Doctors can use medications to help slow the body down and let it repair itself, but usually, after a cardiac arrest, critical care physicians will use ice or cooling baths to drop the body’s temperature down to induce a similar state. People in the emergency room, if someone is brought in post-arrest, they’ll apply cooling packs or cooling blankets to drop someone’s temperature from 98.6 or 99 to 90 or 92 degrees.”

Photo: Wikipedia

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Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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