A 23-year-old chronic asthmatic patient is reported who showed successively four different EEG patterns within a 7 day period of unconsciousness following cardio-respiratory arrest. The initial record was dominated by alpha activity, then beta activity supervened, to be followed by spindle components. Finally an isoelectric tracing occurred before death. A computer file search for all cases of unusual EEG coma patterns was carried out. It failed to reveal any other patient with a similar sequence, but various types of evolution were noted. Such features are seen in only a very small percentage of comatose patients, and in the context of cardio-respiratory arrest are almost invariably fatal.
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