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Whitney Houston's Daughter on Life Support: Is There Hope?

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 11:23 AM

Bobbi Kristina Brown has been placed in a medically induced coma, which is a common procedure in patients with severe brain injuries, a top medical expert tells Newsmax Health.
 
The daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston and the rapper Bobby Brown was found unconscious in her bathtub on Saturday.
 
“A medically induced coma simply means that the doctors used general anesthesia to put her out while they stabilize her, find the extent of damage to her brain, and whether it’s reversible,” says Marc Leavey, M.D., internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “It’s a way to give her brain a rest.”
 
The 21-year-old is on a ventilator at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta where she was moved from North Fulton Hospital, according to reports. Police have said they found no drugs in the Roswell, Georgia, home where she was found and are treating the incident as a medical investigation.
 
At this point, it’s difficult to give any kind prognosis for Brown’s recovery, although there is usually a sliver of hope with even severe brain injuries, Dr. Leavey said. Being young and without apparent health issues works in her favor.  
 
“This is a young woman, and hopefully what happened to her will be found to be reversible, but we will have to wait and see,” he said.
 
Dr. Leavey cited the case of former congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords as someone who regained consciousness after being in a medically induced coma for an extended period. Giffords, who was shot in the head during an assassination attempt, not only woke up, but underwent rehabilitation, and eventually even returned to Congress.
  
In the case of Brown, the use of a medically induced coma is likely due to brain injury from lack of oxygen, not from trauma, and this is not an unusual procedure in near-drownings or other circumstances in which a patient is found unconscious due to being unable to breathe, said Dr. Leavey. 
 
“Sometimes people who are placed in medically induced comas can recover, even in extreme cases,” Dr. Leavey said,
 
Whether Brown will wake up and be functional “depends on the cause of her condition, the extent of any damage that was done, and whether that damage turns out to be reversible,” said Dr. Leavey.
Putting a patient into a medically induced coma entails a similar procedure using anesthesia as putting someone under for surgery, said Dr. Leavey.  “The length of time the person is unconscious is longer, but the anesthesia procedure is the same,” he said.
 
If the cause of Brown’s condition is due to drowning, the brain can swell in response to fluid imbalance. In this case, being put into an induced coma could provide time for the swelling to go down, Dr. Leavey said, after which she’ll gradually be brought out of the coma.
 
The circumstances of Brown’s case are eerily similar to that of her late mother, who was found dead in bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2012 after struggling for years with drug addiction.

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Bobbi Kristina Brown has been placed in a medically induced coma, which is a common procedure in patients with severe brain injuries, a top medical expert tells Newsmax Health. The daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston and the rapper Bobby Brown was found unconscious...
whitney, bobbi, coma, hospital
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2015-23-04
Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 11:23 AM
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