How Is The Severity Of The Brain Injury Classified?

After a serious accident involving a brain injury, the accident victim, their family and loved ones are anxious to know the severity of the brain injury along with the prognosis for recovery.

There are a variety of methods of predicting outcome based on different indicators of severity of the brain injury. None of these predictors come with 100% certainty, however, they do provide a framework for identifying high or low risk long term complications associated with brain injury. This can be helpful in managing and future long term rehabilitation and recovery goals.

The severity of brain injury is usually expressed as Mid, Moderate, or Severe. The three major methods of assessing severity are:

  1. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
  2. Observing the length of coma; and
  3. Observing the length of posttraumatic amnesia

These three major predictors of severity reflect the depth and duration of neurologic dysfunction. That is, they offer an indication of how long, and to what degree function is and will be abnormal.

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