What Is The Glasgow Coma Scale?

If you have a loved one who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an accident, he or she may have impaired consciousness upon arrival at the hospital. Physicians have a scale known as the Glasgow Coma Scale to measure a patient’s impaired consciousness.

Understanding the scale can help you better understand your loved one’s state.

How does the scale work?

The Glasgow Coma Scale provides a quick description of an injury’s severity. There are three categories, each with a score of its own. The physician adds the numbers to obtain an overall score ranging from three to 15. The higher the score, the better the prognosis.

The expression of the score includes the overall score and the three elements. For example, a score may look like GCS6=E2V2M2.

What are the parameters?

The three parameters include best eye response, verbal response and motor response. The parameters reveal whether a patient can interact with the environment.

Eye response is scored between one and four: with no eye opening, eye-opening to pain, sound and eyes opening simultaneously. The verbal response has ratings between one and five: with no verbal response, incomprehensible sound, inappropriate words, confusion, or orientated. The last parameter is motor response. With ratings between one and six, it rates on no motor response, abnormal extensions to pain, abnormal flexions to pain, withdrawal due to pain, localizing pain and obeying commands.

Most physicians can use the Glasgow Coma Scale for adults and children. However, children under two have a modified scale because they cannot speak.