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The Glasgow coma scale and a traumatic brain injury


If a Newton resident suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the initial concern for the family is whether or not he or she will survive. Another concerning factor is how severe the injury is. When the injured person is treated, there will be various tests done to see how serious the damage might be. One method that is used is the Glasgow coma scale. Understanding this scale and how it is used to assess a patient is important when the decisions as to treatment and rehabilitation are made.

Medical professionals will use the Glasgow coma scale to see how conscious the patient is, if at all. This test records the initial phase of consciousness as well as subsequent levels. It will be used when the patient is brought in after any injury involving the brain. Key factors are the patient opening his or her eyes, the verbal responses and motor responses. The numbers begin at one and move up accordingly contingent on how the patient responds spontaneously, when spoken to, when feeling pain, the ability to engage in conversation and its content and physical responses.

The numbers of the three different ways in which a patient is communicated with are added and a total is determined. A person who scores between three and eight will have a severe TBI. Someone with nine to 12 will have a moderate TBI. A total of 13 to 15 will be mild TBI. A severe TBI can lead to long-term problems in being cognitively aware, physically capable and able to function in a normal emotional manner. The Glasgow Coma Scale is not applicable to children. A modified test is used for children.

When a person has suffered any kind of TBI, the injury might not appear to be significant at first. Symptoms can arise in a variety of ways and it's important to know how to recognize them. Medical professionals are trained to use the Glasgow coma scale to grade patients and how injured they are, as well as determine what rehabilitation tactics they will need. Those who have suffered TBI will have medical costs, possible lost time at work and perhaps the need for long-term care. With an injury such as this, it may be helpful to discuss the matter with a legal professional to consider a lawsuit.

Source: brainline.org, "What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?," accessed Sept. 14, 2015

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