Diagnosis and treatment of your traumatic brain injury depend on accurately assessing how serious it is. There is more than one scoring system available to make that assessment, but the Glasgow Coma Scale is the most common.
According to BrainLine, personnel who have received training in using the GCS can apply it under a variety of circumstances, such as in the emergency room of a hospital or at the scene of an accident. It is useful for recording your level of consciousness initially after a head trauma as well as subsequently to it. While the GCS does have some limitations, the results are generally objective and reliable.
What does a patient’s Glasgow Coma Score mean?
The GCS measures specific brain functions in order to assess your level of consciousness and ranks each response according to a numerical scale from zero to 15. The person performing the assessment then adds all the scores together. A higher total score indicates a mild brain injury, while a lower score indicates severe brain injury. A score of nine to 12 indicates a moderate brain injury.
What functions does the Glasgow Coma Score measure?
The three functions include motor response, verbal response and eye-opening. The person performing the assessment determines whether you are able to respond intentionally to verbal commands and whether your reflexive reactions are normal.
What are the limitations of the Glasgow Coma Score?
The GCS is not a reliable assessment for young children whose language skills may be unreliable. It is only useful for assessing consciousness after a head trauma. If a loss of consciousness is due to another cause, such as low blood oxygen or inebriation with drugs or alcohol, the resulting score may not be accurate.