Most people in Medina likely understand that traumatic brain injuries are very serious incidents; what they may not know is exactly how prevalent they are. Many might assume that by describing them as “traumatic,” authorities are only referring to those brain injuries that either kill victims or leave them dealing with severe physical or mental impairments. In reality, TBIs describe everything from concussions to fatalities, and they happen with almost frightening regularity throughout the U.S. Indeed, information shared by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons shows that there are roughly 1.7 million TBI cases in America every year.
The family members and friends of TBI victims often want to know in the immediate aftermath of their injuries what their long-term prognosis will be. While that may be impossible to predict with certainty, the Glasgow Coma Scale can offer an accurate assessment of the extent of their injuries (from which their potential for recovery can then likely be inferred). This clinical observation test measures a TBI victim’s responses in the areas of eye movement, verbal capacity and motor skills. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, point values are assigned in each of the aforementioned categories as follows:
- Eye movement: 1-4 points
- Verbal response: 1-5 points
- Motor skills: 1-6 points
Higher point totals in each category indicate that a patient’s response was closer to the standard baseline. Each category’s scores are then added to come up with a final tally. A score of eight or lower indicates that a person has suffered a severe brain injury. Any recovery from such an injury will likely be limited. However, even mild or moderate TBIs can cause damage that could require extensive (and costly) recuperation.