The Glasgow Coma Scale explained

Most people in Paterson likely share the hope that they will never have to deal with the consequences of a traumatic brain injury (be it one that they themselves suffer or one sustained by a family member or friend). Yet these types of injuries are more common than many may think. Indeed, according to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2.5 million Americans were seen in hospital emergency departments for TBIs in 2014 alone. 

The greatest fear that most have in the immediate aftermath of a TBI is what the victim’s long-term prognosis may be. One might be able to recover from a mild TBI (typically termed to be a concussion) in just a few days without experiencing any lingering effects. Those who suffer severe TBIs may be left completely dependent on extensive care for the rest of their lives. Such knowledge would no doubt impact the decisions made by a TBI victim’s loved ones as to whether or not to seek legal action (if it is indeed warranted). 

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a clinical observation test that can indicate how extensive one’s TBI. Per the CDC, this test measures a TBI victims response in the following areas: 

  • Speech
  • Motor skills
  • Eye opening

Point totals of 5, 6 and 4 are assigned to each respective category. Lower scores indicate that one’s response was close to the baseline expectation. The point totals from each category are then added to together to come up with a final GCS score. A severe brain injury is indicated if one’s score is eight or below, while scores between nine and 12 points or greater than 13 points indicate moderate or mild TBIs, respectively. 

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