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What is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Firm News

The knowledge that your family member or friend suffered a traumatic brain injury in Georgia comes as devastating news. That said, such news need not necessarily signal that they will remain in a persistent vegetative state or experience significant physical or cognitive deficits for the rest of their lives.

Indeed, recovery from a TBI is possible. You then will no doubt want to know what their long-term prognosis is. Yet is such information available in the immediate aftermath of their injures.

Clinical observations yielding conclusions

It can be, thanks to a clinical observation test employed by caretakers known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this test measures your loved one’s responses in the following areas:

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal responses
  • Motor skills

Clinicians assign point values based on those responses; higher values indicate responses closer to the expected baseline. The cumulative value of all the scores generates the final GCS score. A score of 13 or above indicates a mild TBI, scores between nine and 12 a moderate one, and scores of eight or below a significant injury.

Decisions based on a GCS score

You can probably surmise that the most extensive recovery periods are those associated with significant TBIs. Such an injury may leave your loved one dependent on round-the-clock care for the rest of their lives (which can often be quite costly).

Moderate and mild TBI’s can also produce lingering effects (even if your loved one does recover). These effects may require rehabilitation to overcome or mitigate whatever issues a TBI leaves them to deal with.

Whatever the extent of your loved one’s injury, having a GCS score as the basis of your understanding of their predicament can help you in making decisions regarding their future (such as whether to seek legal action related to their injury).