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What is the Glasgow coma scale?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

As explained by BrainLine.org, the Glasgow coma scale rates a person’s level of consciousness after a head injury. The test involves assessing three types of bodily functions and giving each a specific score.

This test is often used in hospitals, but emergency medical personnel can also administer it at the scene of an accident. It provides an objective view of the severity of injuries and is the first step to getting a person the treatment they need.

Verbal response

Medical staff rank verbal response 1 through 5. No response ranks 1, while the ability to make sounds but not form words receives a 2. If the patient can make words but is not coherent, they will receive a 3. A confused verbal response receives a 4, while full orientation receives a 5.

Motor response

When it comes to motor response, a patient can receive a score of 1 through 6. If a person can move body parts on command, they receive a 6. If they move in response to localized pain, they receive a 5. Levels 4 and 3 refer to normal and abnormal flexion, which is the ability to bend a limb in response to stimuli. Involuntary extension of upper limbs ranks as a 2, while 1 means there is no motor response at all.


Patients receive a rank of 1 through 4 for eye-opening. The patient receives a 1 if they cannot open their eyes at all, and they receive a 4 if they open their eyes spontaneously. They receive a 2 if they open their eyes to pressure, and a 3 if they open their eyes to sound.

The overall score at the end of testing to determine the severity of the head injury. A score of 13 through 15 is mild, 9 through 12 is moderate, and 8 or less is severe.

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