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Predicting the long-term outcome of a head injury

The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to predict how an individual will fare after a head injury. The patient is evaluated using three parameters. The score from each one is added together to provide a total score.

People who suffer a severe head injury with a GCS score below eight do not have good prognoses. About 30 percent die and 17 percent will suffer moderate to severe disabilities. Twenty to 30 percent of these patients will have a good outcome long-term.

Patients who suffer a moderate head injury and have a GCS score of 9 to 12 will do somewhat better. Seven to 10 percent will die or be in a persistent vegetative state. Sixty percent will recover well. Twenty-five percent will recover, but will suffer moderate, but varying degrees of disability.

Patients who suffer from a mild head injury with GCS score of 13 to 15 will normally do very well. the mortality rate for people with a simple concussion is zero. Two percent of people that suffer from mild brain swelling die. Patients may suffer from dizziness, irritability, headaches and other symptoms occasionally; however, most people do not suffer any residual effects.

For patients who suffer from penetrating head injuries, the statistics are not the same. Patients that suffer gunshot wounds to their heads and make to the hospital alive only have about a 50 percent chance of surviving their injuries.

Those who suffer a head injury because of the actions or inactions of another person have a right to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and much more. The families of those who lose a loved one because of someone's negligence can also seek compensation. An attorney can help you understand your legal options.

Source: Brainline.org, "Brain Trauma, Concussion, and Coma," accessed April 13, 2016

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