Examining the Glasgow Coma Scale

Many in Rochester may believe that the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury (or witnessing a family member or friend sustaining one) are remote. Yet TBIs are much more common that most may think. In fact, information shared by the International Brain Injury Association shows that one million Americans are treated for TBIs annually. Of those who receive such treatment, 80,000 are believed to be discharged from their treatment with some form of disability related to their injuries. Such disabilities may require extensive care and rehabilitation, which can translate to inordinate medical costs. Knowing what those costs may be could influence the decision to seek legal action against those who may be responsible for their TBIs. 

Yet how can one know such a prognosis so soon after a brain injury? Clinicians have developed a test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale which measures the extent of a TBI. Knowing the extent offers an idea of a TBI victim's chances of recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the test is administered by measuring the following elements: 

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal communication
  • Motor skills 

Scores are assigned relative to each element. The higher the score, the more closely a TBI victim's response is to the standard baseline. Cumulative scores of eight points or below indicate a severe brain injury from which the chances of a completely recovery may relatively slim. A score above eight implies a moderate or minor brain injury. Yet even victims of mild or moderate TBIs can suffer long-term effects that could hinder their quality of life as well as their ability to return to the routines they followed prior to their injuries. 

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