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Understanding the Glasgow Coma Scale

One of the most frightening aspects of a loved one suffering a traumatic brain injury is the uncertainty that comes with it. You want to expect the best while also understanding that they (and you) face a potentially long and difficult road to recovery. Would it not be nice if someone could provide you with a map of that road?

That was often the wish of many of our past clients here at The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C. who came to us in a similar position. Like them, you will no doubt welcome the news that clinicians might indeed be able to offer you such an indication.

Predicting a TBI victim’s prognosis

A clinical observation test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale offers a high-level assessment of the extent of a person’s TBI. That assessment offers an indication of what their long-term prognosis may be. In your loved one’s case, their caretakers observe their responses in the following areas:

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal responses
  • Motor skills

Some might judge these responses subjectively, yet the purpose of the GCS is to offer clarity. Thus, it views your loved one’s responses comprehensively and assigns an overall score based on them.

Interpreting a GCS

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, GCS scores of eight or below indicate a severe brain injury, nine to 12 indicate a moderate injury, and anything above 13 indicates a mild brain injury. You may think that a mild or moderate injury means that you (and your loved one) have nothing to worry about, yet these injuries can still produce lingering effects that require both time and resources to overcome.

You can discover more information on dealing with catastrophic injuries throughout our site.

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Carlton F. Bennett Mr. Bennett is recognized as an expert in traumatic brain damage litigation, nursing home malpractice, and wrongful death cases. He has obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for traumatic brain injury survivors, and other cases involving serious injuries.
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