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What is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

When a person is in a coma or has suffered a serious brain injury, the medical team might assess the patient's condition. The Glasgow Coma Scale is one tool that can be used to assess patients. This scale provides a score of 3 to 15, which indicates the person's prognosis.

What elements are included in the Glasgow Coma Scale?

The GCS takes into account a person's motor response, verbal response and eye opening. Two examples of motor responses include withdrawing from pain and obeying commands to move. Two examples of verbal responses include giving inappropriate responses or seeming oriented. Two examples of eye opening response include not having any eye opening movements or having normal eye opening movements.

What does the result of the Glasgow Coma Scale mean?

The higher the score, the better the prognosis. A person with a score of 3 to 5 are possibly fatal. Scores up to 8 are associated with people who are in a coma. Scores of 8 to 15 are said to have a good chance for recovery from the brain injury.

The Glasgow Coma Scale is only one tool that medical professionals use to assess coma patients. For the loved ones of people who are in a coma, this scale can often provide a look into where their loved one stands from a medical perspective.

When a person suffers a serious brain injury, the medical care necessary is often very involved. This can cause financial devastation for the person's family. In some cases, seeking compensation can help to reduce that devastation.

Source: Brain Injury Alliance Utah, "Glasgow Coma Scale," accessed May. 01, 2015

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