Spotlighting the Glasgow Coma Scale

Dealing with the aftermath of a loved one suffering a traumatic brain injury in San Jose can be an extraordinary challenge, yet not one that is insurmountable if you are prepared for it. You just need to know what to expect in regards to their physical and cognitive limitations. Many come to us here at Shea & Shea immediate following their loved ones suffering a TBI wondering how they might now what their long-term prognosis may be. You can quickly develop a general expectation if you know your loved one's Glasgow Coma Scale score. 

The GCS is a test based off clinical observations that health care providers use to assess the extent of a brain injury. Specifically, they pay attention to the following types of responses from a TBI victim: 

  • Eye movement
  • Speech
  • Motor response 

The closer your family member or friend's responses are to the baseline (that is, what would be expected from a normal, fully aware patient), the better their GCS score will be. A point value is assigned for each of the aforementioned three categories, after which the individual values are summed to come up with an overall score. 

According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a GCS score of 8 or below indicates a severe brain injury. Scores between 9 and 12 are indicators of a moderate injury, while scores above 13 amount to what might be seen in one with a mild brain injury (equivalent to a concussion). A complete recovery from mild and moderate brain injuries is entirely possible (though your loved one may still be forced to deal with certain deficits). Severe brain injury victims will often require 24-hour care for extensive (or even indefinite) periods of time. 

More information on traumatic brain injuries can be found here on our site. 

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