What Are Some Complications I Might See?

Medical complications may occur because of a severe brain injury. These are some common issues experienced by and possible treatments for people in disorders of consciousness.

Patient lies in bed with a tracheostomy showing air tubes and machinery

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems for patients in disorders of consciousness

Two gloved hands checking the teeth in a woman's open mouth

Oral Care

Oral care for after severe brain injury

Monitor displaying vital signs

Vital Signs

Complications or changes in vital signs of people in disorders of consciousness

Disorders of Consciousness masthead

Storming or Neurostorming

Neurostorming or storming after severe brain injury

Hlebologist examines a patient with varicose veins on his leg

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVTs)

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVTs) after severe brain injury

A bed sore on a person's leg

Wounds or Pressure Injuries of the Skin

Information about wounds or pressure injuries of the skin after severe brain injury

A feeding tube drips for a patient in a coma

Nutrition and Eating

Nutrition and eating for people in disorders of consciousness

A woman struggles to swallow


Swallowing complications after severe brain injury

Graphic representation of hydrocephalus


Hydrocephalus is sometimes called “water on the brain.”

Illustration of a boy having a seizure and mother holding a pillow under his head


Seizures after severe brain injury

Illustration of pain in all major joints on a skeleton

Heterotopic Ossification (HO)

Heterotopic Ossification (HO) after severe brain injury

Photo of a young man lying in bed awake and looking unhappy


Sleep disturbances after severe brain injury

A young male doctor gives an elderly woman an eye exam

Vision and Hearing

Vision and hearing complications after severe brain injury

Two rolls of white toilet paper on blue background

Bowel and Bladder Problems

Bowel and bladder problems after severe brain injury

Close up photo of a girl's legs and spasticity in her muscles, she sits in a wheelchair


Spasticity in muscles after severe brain injury

Patient with breathing tube on a gurney visibly in pain


Pain experienced after severe brain injury

Studio shot of a young man experiencing mental anguish and screaming against a black background

Agitation and Restlessness

Agitation and restlessness after severe brain injury