What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

Brain injuries are some of the most serious medical conditions that a person can endure. From permanent physical limitations to cognitive difficulties, the complications can be significant and long-lasting. Some people even go into comas as a result of brain damage.

Brain injuries are very serious, and medical professionals use various assessments and tools to gauge their impact and design patients’ recovery plans. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a critical tool in this field, offering insights into the challenges that a patient may face as well as their recovery prospects.

Common Causes of Comas

Comas are a deep state of unconsciousness that can last for days, months, or even years. They can result from a range of causes, each varying in severity and impact. Some of the most common include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries, resulting from impacts to the head
  • Stroke, due to a blockage or hemorrhage in the brain
  • Brain tumors, which can pressure and damage brain tissue
  • Infections affecting the brain, such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Lack of oxygen, caused by events such as drowning or cardiac arrest
  • Toxic substance exposure, including drug overdose or poisoning

If a loved one suffered a severe injury due to another person or party’s negligence, a brain injury attorney in Roanoke may be able to help.

How the Glasgow Coma Scale Works

The Glasgow Coma Scale serves as a standardized system for measuring a person’s level of consciousness after a brain injury. It evaluates three key responses: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response, assigning a numerical value to each. The sum of these values offers a composite score that categorizes the brain injury as mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Eye Opening (E) ranges from spontaneous (4) to none (1), indicating the patient’s responsiveness to external stimuli.
  • Verbal Response (V) assesses coherence and orientation, from oriented (5) to none (1), reflecting the patient’s ability to communicate effectively.
  • Motor Response (M) measures obedience to commands and reflex actions, from obeys command (6) to none (1), showcasing the patient’s voluntary movement capabilities.

Clinicians compile these scores to track the patient’s progress, which helps them communicate the patient’s condition to other healthcare providers. A score of 13-15 indicates a mild brain injury, 9-12 suggests moderate injury, and 8 or below denotes a severe injury.

Seeking Justice After a Brain Injury in Roanoke

The road to recovery following a brain injury can be long and fraught with challenges. If someone else’s actions are responsible for this damage, the implications can feel even more severe. Whether you suffered brain damage due to a collision with a driver who ran a red light or slipped and fell due to a dangerous condition on someone’s property, you deserve justice.

In Virginia, people who have suffered brain injuries due to another person’s negligence have the right to seek compensation through a lawsuit or insurance claim. These courses of legal action allow victims to recover compensation to pay for the various expenses associated with a brain injury, such as medical care, disability, accommodations, and even pain and suffering. However, filing a claim can be challenging alone, especially while you are recovering from brain damage.

In these situations, you need an attorney on your side. A Roanoke personal injury lawyer can advocate for your rights and provide the support that you need to build a strong case. Whether your injury is mild, moderate, or severe, contact a brain injury attorney right away to discuss your options and identify your optimal path to recovery.