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Breaking down the Glasgow Coma Scale

The greatest concern that you and others may have in the immediate aftermath of a loved one sustaining a traumatic brain injury in Salem may be the perceived uncertainty surrounding their future. Some TBI victims are able to completely recover from their injuries in just a few days; others, however, can be left with serious physical and mental impairments that can affect them for the rest of their lives. For many of those that we here at Swanson Lathen Prestwich PC have worked with in the wake of a TBI, knowing what one's long-term prognosis may be can have a dramatic impact on any civil action taken against those responsible. 

Is there indeed a way for you to know how extensive your loved one's TBI is in those first few days after their injury? While knowing for certain can be difficult, clinicians have developed a method through which an often-reliable estimation can be achieved. It is known as the Glasgow Coma Scale, and it is based on observations made of your loved one by the clinicians who treat them immediately after having sustained a TBI. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the GCS measures responses in the following areas: 

  • Verbal communication
  • Motor skills
  • Eye opening

After observing your loved one's responses, their caregivers will assign point totals to each of the aforementioned categories. A higher score is what you are hoping for, as scores between 13-15 and 9-12 indicate mild and moderate brain injuries, respectively. A score of eight or below could mean that your loved one had suffered serious brain damage, and their likelihood of a full recovery may be remote. 

You can learn more about brain injuries and how to deal with them by continuing to explore our site. 

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Swanson Lathen Prestwich, PC
3040 Commercial St SE #200
Salem, OR 97302

Phone: 503-447-3582
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