Detailing the Glasgow Coma Scale

People often come to us here at Mesibov Butler after having seen a loved one sustain a traumatic head injury in Hamilton with the same question: To what extent can he or she recover? The answer to this question may impact your decision to pursue legal action through a negligence claim. While it may be impossible to know for certain the outcome of your family member or friend’s TBI right now, medical professionals have developed a scoring method to try and predict the extent of such injuries based upon his or her current level of response.

This method, known as the Glasgow Coma Scale, measures a number of different factors seen in the immediate aftermath of your loved one’s injury. These factors (as shared by the website BrainLine.org) include:

  •          Verbal response
  •          Motor response
  •          Eye movement

The scores assigned for each category are based upon whether he or she appears to be functioning normally or is experiencing sensory deficits up to the point of not responding at all to external stimuli. Higher scores indicate a more positive response, while a score of one in any of the aforementioned categories indicates no response. A score between 13-15 indicates a mild TBI, while one between 9-12 is considered moderate. Anything below those scores is classified as severe.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons states that those whose GCS scores indicating mild injuries typically experience positive outcomes, with residual effects diminishing over time. Moderate TBI cases generally see positive outcomes 60 percent of the time, with 25 percent of victims being left with a moderate disability. Nearly 84 percent of cases involving severe TBIs result in death or one being left in a persistent vegetative state.

You can discover more about the potential outcomes of serious injuries here on our site. 

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