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Coma (#2411)

The most common cause of death and disability among 1-44 year-olds is head injury. Now, an innovative and simple technique developed by a New York neurosurgeon is saving and improving the lives of head trauma victims. This episode follows the treatment of Alex, a young boy who suffered severe head injuries when he was hit by a car and arrived at the hospital in a comatose state. Dr. Jam Ghajar drained the spinal fluid from Alex's swelling brain to relieve cranial pressure. This uncomplicated procedure was a key aspect in keeping Alex from a permanent vegetative state. Although successful with many of his head trauma patients, Dr. Ghajar's operation has been controversial to some in the medical community. His effort to organize guidelines for the treatment of head injuries is a challenging one, and is also chronicled in this story. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
6-8, 9-12
Curricular Areas
Science & Technology
Series Length
432 episodes
Average Episode Length
61 minutes
Record Rights
Record and retain for 1 year from each broadcast. No duplication allowed.
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Series Description: PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.

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These episodes of NOVA aired in the last few months on Iowa Public Television.

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