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What To Know About The Glasgow Coma Scale (Brain Injury Diagnostic Tool)


Brain injuries are a significant public health hazard. A study published by the National Library of Medicine, estimates that 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are reported nationwide each year. Though, the true number of TBIs is suspected to be even higher due to an underreporting problem. All brain injuries require immediate medical attention. The proper care is a must.

To ensure that the proper treatment plan is developed for a TBI, the injury must be accurately diagnosed. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a widely accepted medical diagnostic tool for brain injuries. In this article, our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers explain the most important things you should understand about the Glasgow Coma Scale for brain injuries.

The GCS Evaluates a Person’s Consciousness

The primary purpose of the GCS is to measure a person’s level of consciousness after they have sustained a suspected concussion/TBI. The lower a person scores on the GCS scale, the lower their level of “consciousness” from a medical perspective. In contrast, a person who scores highly on the GCS has a high or even normal level of consciousness. Loss of consciousness is correlated with the severity of a brain injury. That being said, the correlation is by no means perfect. The GCS does not measure the severity of a brain injury directly. It assesses consciousness.

Glasgow Coma Scale: A Three-Part Test to Measure Consciousness 

The GCS uses a three-part test to evaluate a person’s level of consciousness after they have suffered a suspected concussion or TBI. Each of the three sections involves a 1 to 5 scale—with 1 being the lowest (worst) score. The sections are as follows:

  • Eye movement;
  • Verbal; and
  • Motor skills.

The highest score on the GCS (15) means that a person shows no reduced consciousness with regards to the eye movement, verbal acuity, or motor skills. In contrast, a person with the lowest score (3) essentially shows no response in any of the categories.

The GCS Can Help Measure Progress After a Serious Brain Injury 

Imagine that a person suffered a serious brain injury in a fall accident in West Palm Beach. They were completely unconscious at the scene of the accident—meaning their GCS score would be a 3. As they gradually improve over hours, days, weeks, and potentially even longer, the GCS is one of several diagnostic tools that can be used to help measure their medical progress.

 Get Help From Our West Palm Beach Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyer Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys have the specialized skills and experience to handle all types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) claims. If you or your family member suffered a serious brain injury in an accident, we are here as a legal resource. Call us now or contact us online for a free consultation. We handle brain injury claims throughout Palm Beach County, including in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, and Delray Beach.



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