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Understanding the Glasgow Coma Scale

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2020 | personal injury |

Someone surviving a severe accident in California is almost certainly a cause for celebration. That may not necessarily mean, however, that one is completely out of the proverbial woods. Indeed, those who emerge from an accident with a traumatic brain injury might face an uncertain future.

The family and friends of TBI victims certainly want to know what that future may be. Some might say that is impossible to know in the immediate aftermath of an injury, yet that may not be the case.

Making predictions based on responses

Caretakers employ a clinical observation test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale that helps them to estimate the extent of a TBI. One might use that estimate as a prediction of what a TBI victim’s potential for recovery may be.

The Glasgow Coma Scale bases its determinations on a patient’s motor skills, verbal responses and eye movement immediately following their brain injuries. Clinicians then assign a score for each category, and the accumulation of those point totals serves as an indication of their injury. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the breakdown of scores is as follows:

  • 13-15 points: Mild TBI
  • 9-12 points: Moderate TBI
  • 8 points or below: Severe TBI

Planning for the future

It may go without saying that those who suffer a severe TBI have a tougher road ahead of them. Severe TBI victims may have a small chance of recovery (and a limited degree of recovery at that). Yet those who suffer mild or moderate TBIs still may face a long recuperative process. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, nearly 5.3 million American adults live with a TBI-related disability. Knowing of the potential need for treatment during the recuperative process may influence the decisions made on behalf of a TBI victim.