2 November 2012
Confined to the Body Few things can be as tormenting as having a person’s own body serve as a prison. Unable to communicate thoughts or evoke physical responses a person living with Locked-In Syndrome is conscious and alert, but because they are unable to move or coordinate speech, to outside people seem unconscious at the most basic levels. Confined to own thoughts, the body is a personal “one-man” prison when suffering from Locked-In Syndrome.
This persistent vegetative state has posed many problems for doctors and patients alike. A patient’s inability to move, or even respond to doctor’s cues provide a wide margin of error for a doctor to make a misdiagnosis. Locked in syndrome is caused by lesions in the brainstem or extensive demyelization of neurons in the brain (Chislom 2005). Diagnosis and conformation of this syndrome is at its beginning stages, patients are diagnosed through observing imaging and bedside interactions.
These misdiagnoses can at times be fatal. In the case of Nick Chislom while suffering from locked in syndrome, doctors assessed Nick’s condition with intentions to end life support, while Nick was able to comprehend these plans but could not express his consciousness! His parents pleaded mercilessly for weeks for the doctors to reassess Nick’s status. Eventually, doctors conformed, reassessed his status and classified his case as locked-in So much is unknown about the cause of locked-in syndrome, though this has not stopped this syndromes prevalence. Without any cognitive response from the patient, doctors and researchers alike are contemplating whether or nor a person living with locked- in syndrome is functioning at a normal cognitive level. Though unable to move, patients living with locked-…