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Breaking Down the Glasgow Coma Scale

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Dec. 14, 2018

It may surprise you to know how many of those that we here at Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., Attorneys at Law see after having seen loved ones suffer brain injuries who assume that the only outcome of such an accident is life in a vegetative state. It’s perfectly normal to immediately assume the worst after hearing that a family member or friend has suffered such an injury. In reality, however, there is a scale of brain injury severity, and depending on where your loved one falls on that scale, a complete recovery may be entirely possible. 

As is the case with any major injury, clear and transparent communication between you and your family member or friend’s health care providers is important to understanding their long-term prognosis. One important question that you will want to ask is what was their Glasgow Coma Scale sore. This score indicated the severity of injury they suffered. It is determined by how well your loved one responds to stimuli, how active their eye movement is, and how well they are able to communicate. Point values are assigned for each of the three categories, and then summed to provide an overall score. 

Your hope is that your family member or friend produces a high score. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the score categories (and the type of injury associated with them) is as follows: 

  • Fewer than 8 points: Severe brain injury 

  • 9-12 points: Moderate brain injury

  • 13-15 points: Mild brain injury 

Recovery from a severe brain injury (if even possible) is likely to be limited. Yet even though moderate and mild brain injuries offer an improved hope of recovery, you still might face enormous costs for recuperative services. 

More information on the brain injury recovery process can be found throughout our site.