Can Botulism Cause a Coma? Otto Warmbier Is In An Unresponsive State

At a news conference earlier on Thursday, the detainee’s father, Fred Warmbier, said they are left with many questions, and no answers.Warmbier’s team of doctors said they believe his brain injury was not caused by head trauma, but possibly by cardiopulmonary arrest triggered by respiratory failure.Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was medically evacuated from North Korea and flown to Cincinnati late Tuesday.A US diplomat who traveled to North Korea to secure American college student Otto Warmbier’s (WORM’-birz) release also was able to make contact with three other Americans detained there.Tests did not turn up evidence of botulism, which the North Koreans had claimed Warmbier contracted before being given a sleeping pill and not waking up, doctor Brandon Foreman said. A CNN report said doctors found significant contractions and weakness in Warmbier’s legs, though they are unsure of the cause. They were provided a scan from April 2016, which indicated the injury to the brain had already occurred.Fred Warmbier told the gathered reporters that he was proud of his son’s adventurous side, the same adventurous nature that made him travel to North Korea in the first place. He is in stable condition but sustained a severe neurological injury, the official said.Fred Warmbier told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday that Otto was “terrorized and brutalized” during his 17-month detention and has been in a coma for more than a year.Warmbier was arrested on January 2, 2016, while trying to board a plane out of North Korea.Tillerson said on Wednesday that USA officials were considering some type of travel visa restriction to North Korea.Fred also said ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman’s ongoing trip to the reclusive country did not aide in his son’s release. “U.S. citizens in the DPRK are at serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement”, the State Department travel warning reads, “This system imposes unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and threatens USA citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with ‘wartime law of the DPRK'”.None of the center’s doctors have been in direct contact with medical officials in North Korea, Bonomo said. “That was the last physical time I saw Otto, ever. We see the results of their actions with Otto”, he said.He was sentenced to 15 years in a labour camp after a one-hour trial in March 2016.North Korea has arrested 16 American citizens and is still holding three – Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang-duk, and Kim Hak-song.Doctors said there was no evidence that Warmbier suffered any broken bones.Fred also said they followed the Obama administration to keep a low profile.The elder Warmbier said he didn’t believe North Korea’s explanation that the coma resulted from botulism and a sleeping pill.Meanwhile, Rodman vowed to return to North Korea as soon as possible.Unlike in a coma, patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome are technically awake and can show small signs of eye movement, such as blinking, even if they don’t display conscious awareness or reaction to their surroundings like in Warmbier’s case.