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What is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

As the immediate shock that accompanies the news of your loved one having suffered a traumatic brain injury sets in, your thoughts may turn to one question: what is next? Your perception of TBI's may be that whoever suffers them will automatically need constant care throughout the rest of their lives in Pima. The cost of such care can be massive, and the emotional toll that comes from watching a family member or friend suffer through it can be just as devastating. Yet not all TBI's produce this outcome. Oftentimes, you loved one can indeed make a full recovery. 

How are you to know which prognosis they face? Clinicians conduct a response test immediately upon assuming the care of a TBI victim that might offer you this insight. This response test is measure along what is known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. The GCS measures how well your loved one responds through their motor skills, their speech and with their eye movement. Points are assigned in each category and then combined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the point breakdown is as follows: 

  • 13-15 points: Mild brain injury
  • 9-12 points: Moderate brain injury
  • Less than 8 points: Severe brain injury

It may go without saying that care that the victim of a severe brain injury requires will likely be extensive, and there is no guarantee of recovery. One may be able to recover from a moderate or mild brain injury, yet even in those cases, lingering effects may require aftercare. These are all important points to ponder when deciding what actions to take to best deal with your loved one's TBI.

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