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The term "persistent vegetative state" refers to patients who do show some signs of awareness and is not the same as "brain dead". Brain death is defined as the irreversible loss of all brain function. PVS is difficult to diagnose with up to 40% of cases misdiagnosed according to some studies. Blindness, paralysis or other physical disabilities may prevent the patient from giving some sign that they are aware. More work is continuing to be done on severely brain injured patients but at the moment there are still many unknowns.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Florida Baptist Witness
About: Persistent vegetative state still difficult to diagnose
Date: 13 January 2005
Source: Florida Baptist Witness
Author: Cindy Province
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