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Determining the severity of a TBI

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2020 | Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering events. When your loved one suffers one, both they and you could face an uncertain future. You will no doubt want be there to help with their care and recuperation, so you also will want an idea of what their long-term prognosis may be.

Such is the wish of everyone in your position. Many have come to us here at Ginsberg & O’Connor, P.C. asking if getting an estimate of a TBI victim’s prognosis is even possible. The answer will likely surprise you.

The Glasgow Coma Scale

Clinicians actually do have a method for determining the extent of your loved one’s TBI (and, by extension, their prognosis) thanks to the Glasgow Coma Scale. This clinical observation test measures your loved one’s responses following their injury. Specifically, caretakers focus on their verbal responses, motor skills, and eye movement and then assign point values in each area. The cumulative value of those points then helps determine how severe their TBI truly is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the GCS point breakdown (and the degree of TBI it indicates) is as follows:

  • 13-15 points: Mild brain injury
  • 9-12 points: Moderate brain injury
  • 8 points or below: Severe brain injury

Planning for the future

It goes without saying that a severe brain injury will likely require years of recuperative (or palliative) treatment, which requires a heavy investment of both time and resources. Yet the treatment required for moderate and mild brain injuries can easily become costly, as well. Knowing what may be ahead for both you and your loved one may help influence your decisions regarding their care.

You can find more information on dealing with severe injures throughout our site.