Following coma, a patient may transition into a vegetative and a minimally conscious state, notes the Dana Foundation. After achieving full consciousness, a patient improves gradually while recovering from a coma, with the most improvement in function occurring in the first six months, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center adds.
During a vegetative state, the person is awake but shows no awareness of surroundings, and in a minimally conscious state, the person appears to have some intermittent awareness, says BrainLine.org. As the person begins to regain consciousness, he may start to follow sights and sounds around a room, and then begin to follow commands such as a request to blink, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center explains.
Over time, people recovering from comas improve steadily, although rate and length of recovery vary between people depending on the severity of the head injury and the length of the coma, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center informs. Some people make full recoveries, while others have permanent disabilities.