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What is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2022 | Catastrophic Personal Injuries

After recovering from the initial shock of hearing that a family member or friend in San Diego suffered a traumatic brain injury, one’s first question may likely be to what extent the victim might recover. Unfortunately, understanding the answer to that question can be quite complex.

Despite the many advances made in clinical science in recent years, researchers and scientists have yet to discover how to regenerate damaged or destroyed brain tissue. Thus, one who suffers a TBI might indeed experience lingering effects. Knowing how extensive those effects may be is often difficult (though not impossible) in the immediate aftermath of an accident.

Clinical observations following a TBI

Caretakers diagnose the extent of a TBI using a clinical observation test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. This test observes a TBI victim’s responses in the following three areas:

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal responses
  • Motor skills

One receives a score in each of these areas depending on their responses. The clinicians treating them then sum up the scores from those individual categories to come up with an overall GCS score. According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scores above 13 indicate a mild TBI, while a score between 9 and 12 indicates a moderate brain injury. Clinicians determine that one with a GCS score of 8 or below suffered a serious TBI.

To what extent might one recover?

It may go without saying that one who suffers a serious TBI will likely experience significant effects (which may leave one requiring life-long care). Yet the physical and cognitive impact of moderate and mild TBIs might also linger. Indeed, one who suffers even something as seemingly simple as a concussion might require continued medical and psychological care.