What is the Glasgow Coma Scale and why is it important?

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a 15-point scale that medical professionals use to evaluate consciousness and brain function after a head injury.

Here's What the Glasgow Coma Scale Measures

Medical professionals use the Glasgow Coma Scale to measure a person's:

  • Eye-opening response. Points are assigned depending on whether the person opens their eyes spontaneously, in response to sound, in response to pressure, or not at all.
  • Verbal response. Points are assigned based on if the person is able to have orientated speech, confused speech but with some ability to answer questions, form words but not answer questions appropriately, make sounds, or have no verbal response at all.
  • Motor response. Points for motor response are based on whether a person obeys movement commands, purposefully moves in response to a painful stimulus, withdraws in response to pain, bends in response to pain, extends in response to pain, or has no motor response at all.

Glasgow Coma Scale Scores

Once the scores for the eye-opening response, verbal response, and motor response are tallied, they will be added together for a final score. A person with a Glasgow Coma Score of:

  • 13-15 has a mild head injury
  • 9-12 has a moderate head injury
  • Eight or lower has a severe head injury

Often, the Glasgow Coma Scale is one tool medical professionals use to determine a brain injury's severity.

What to Share With a Personal Injury Lawyer

If your loved one has a Glasgow Coma Scale score, please share it with their brain injury lawyer. It is one of several pieces of information that explains how badly your loved one was hurt.

Your loved one's lawyers will consider the score and other medical records to learn more about your loved one's injuries. Additionally, we will investigate the accident that caused your loved one's head injury to determine whether a personal injury lawsuit might result in your loved one's financial compensation.

To learn more about your loved one's legal recovery from a brain injury accident, please contact our Iowa personal injury attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation any time—24/7/365.


Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.