Neurologists Say Otto Warmbier has Severe Brain Injury

Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who has been detained in North Korea since early January, attends a new conference in Pyongyang, North Korea

(CBS St. Louis) – University of Cincinnati neurologists treating Otto Warmbier, the American citizen just released from a North Korea prison, say he has a severe brain injury, and is in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness.”

SLU Care’s Dr. Nirav Patel is the chief medical officer at SSM Health SLU Hospital — he sees patients like this in the ICU: “Most frequently this is called a coma, and this is a state where the patient is not able to respond in any meaningful way, but they may have some level of brain activity.

“They probably don’t have a good sleep wake cycle, and they’re not responding to things like we would expect them to. Not just simple things like to voice or to touch, but sometimes even at the neurological level not having good responses to light or sounds or other painful stimuli,” he says. CONTINUE