Understanding the Glasgow Coma Scale

After your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in Lake Charles, the first and most important question you likely have for their caretakers will be if they can recover (and if so, what extent)? Answering that question with anything approaching exactness may seem impossible, yet people come to us here at the Hale Law Firm all the time asking it anyway. Like them, you may be surprised to learn that clinicians can develop a reasonably good idea of what one’s long-term prognosis following a TBI can be thanks to a test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. 

The reason brain injuries can be so devastating is due to the fact that brain cells cannot be regenerated. This means that whatever damage a TBI does is irreversible. If that damage is mild, then one may experience little more than concussion-like symptoms and quickly return to full health. Severe injuries, however, can leave one completely dependent on around the clock care in order to perform basic functions such as breathing. Knowing which outcome your loved one faces may be a factor in your decision to seek compensation from the party responsible for their TBI. 

That Glasgow Coma Scale can provide that outlook. Clinicians use its guidelines to assign points in the following areas: 

  • Eye opening
  • Motor skills
  • Verbal response 

Point totals from each three categories are summed to come up with a final score. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scores between 13-15 and 9-12 indicate mild and moderate brain injuries, respectively. Recovery is possible from these types of TB’s (although your loved one may have to deal with some lingering symptoms). Scores lower than eight indicate severe brain injury from which a complete recovery may be unlikely. 

More information on brain injuries can be found throughout our site.