What is a Prolonged disorder of consciousness?

This is when a person is no longer in a coma but remains in a state of altered consciousness for more than four weeks after an injury. It is essential for the patient to receive specialist support through this process to give each patient every chance of optimising their recovery.

Common causes of brain injury resulting in prolonged disorders of consciousness:

  • Head injury
  • Stroke
  • Reduced oxygen to the brain
  • Infection
  • Poisoning (drug/alchohol)


Different Levels of Consciousness

Following severe brain injury, many patients progress through the different levels of consciousness when emerging from a coma.

  • Coma (Absent wakefulness and absent awareness)
  • Unresponsive Wakefulness Syndrome or Vegetative State (Wakefulness with absent awareness)
  • Minimally Conscious State (Wakefulness with minimal awareness)

Some patients will not emerge from a vegetative or minimally conscious state.

The Team Approach

Our skilled team ensures a consistent co-ordinated approach to recovery and includes:

  • Consultant
  • Dietitian
  • International Patient Coordinator
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • PDoC Admissions Coordinator
  • PDoC Nurse
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Resident Medical Officer
  • Speech and Language Therapist


Contact Details for Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness (PDoC) Unit

Tel: +44 (0)20 7483 5591

Fax: +44 (0)20 7483 5588

Email: wellington.enquiryhelpline@hcahealthcare.co.uk