Understanding the Importance of the Glasgow Coma Score

Video Transcription:
The Glasgow Coma Score is an accepted system that produces a score when paramedics and first responders, or even the emergency personnel, that evaluates someone’s level of consciousness or awareness following some type of a crash or accident. These scores measure the person's ability to verbally respond, to open their eyes and close their eyes and their ability to move their extremities. And, from this brief examination, they come up with a score, fifteen being the highest and zero being the lowest. Generally, someone who has a 13 to 15 is potentially considered to have a mild brain injury or concussion. Someone with a score of 8 to 3 is considered to have a severe brain injury and somewhere in between would be a moderate head injury.

Bear in mind, this score is just a snapshot in time and the person’s condition can change dramatically in the course of several minutes. They might be knocked out cold before the paramedics arrive but when they arrive at the scene the person might just be dazed or a little disoriented, so their coma score would be higher. Someone could have a score of 13 at the scene but then a 15 at the emergency room.

Essentially, the Glasgow Coma Score is just a snapshot of the level of awareness or consciousness and cognitive activity that is used to understand the severity of someone’s concussion or potential brain injury. The fact that someone has a score of 15 doesn’t mean that they don’t have a concussion and someone with a lower score doesn’t mean that they won’t recover. So, this is an important thing to understand. You will see it on virtually every accident report and every emergency medical report involving someone who had a potential head injury. And, it’s a part of the medical records that would be used in someone’s personal injury case later.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.