If you or a loved one lost consciousness during a motor vehicle accident, the chances of a traumatic brain injury are higher than if there was no loss. If a patient loses consciousness, there is a scale that can help doctors manage and predict the course of a TBI.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the Glasgow Coma Scale describes a patient’s consciousness following trauma.
What is the GCS?
The GCS has three parameters, including eye response, verbal response and motor response. Doctors score the responses between one and four for eyes, one and five for verbal and one and six for motor. The score can be anywhere from three to 15. 15 is the highest and worst.
The GSC rates eye-opening based on the ability to open eyes. The lowest score includes patients who cannot open their eyes, then subsequently opening eyes to the pain, opening eyes to sound and opening eyes spontaneously.
No motor response is the lowest for motor responses, followed by an abnormal extension to pain, abnormal flexion with pain, localized pain and obeying commands.
Following verbal responses range from no response to incomprehensible sounds, inappropriate words, confusion and orientation.
What does the GCS tell doctors?
The GSC helps doctors plan a course of treatment. It can help doctors determine whether they should perform neurosurgery or how many hospitalizations the patient may have. If you have a loved one who lost consciousness, the doctor can also tell you what the predicted outcome could be.
While the GCS is not the only tool doctors have, it is one of the essential diagnostic scales for an unconscious patient.