World Coma Day and the State of Coma Care: Wendy Ziai, MD, MPH

April 8, 2021
Wendy Ziai, MD, MPH

Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University; and member, Curing Coma Campaign Scientific Steering Committee, Neurocritical Care Society

The professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the Curing Coma Campaign’s Scientific Steering Committee shared her insight into the current management of coma and the need for better prognostication.

“[Prognostication is] probably one of the biggest challenges we face, especially in the short-term. Obviously, we don’t have a crystal ball, we can’t predict how patients are going to look in 3, 6, or 12 months from now, and we often probably don’t get it right.”

This year, for the first time, the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) marked March 22 as World Coma Day, a global online event with the intent of bringing awareness to “awaken hope” in the community about the care of patients in coma, how it is treated, and its status as a recoverable condition. This push is an extension of the NCS’s Curing Coma Campaign, which was launched in late 2019.

The Curing Coma Campaign is the first initiative of its kind targeted at healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, and advocacy organizations and aimed at unifying the concept of coma as a treatable medical condition. Wendy Ziai, MD, MPH, professor of neurology, Johns Hopkins University, is a member of the Curing Coma Campaign’s Scientific Steering Committee, and as such sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss this effort from the campaign.

Ziai offered some details regarding how this campaign and World Coma Day came about and the driving force behind those efforts. Additionally, she shared her insight into the treatment and management of patients with coma, the misconceptions about it, and the importance of providing better clinical prognostication.