If your loved one has sustained a brain injury, you are not alone. Every year more than 1.4 million Americans sustain a brain injury. Often these injuries are caused by accidents that could have been prevented. The leading causes of brain injuries in the Kansas City area are car accidents and on-the-job accidents.

A brain injury can be very mild or very severe. There are several scales and measures that doctors use to rate the level of brain injury and record the progress a patient makes in rehabilitation.

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) Is Used to Grade Brain Injuries

When the patient is first injured, first responders and emergency room doctors will use the Glasgow Coma Scale to determine the initial severity of a brain injury. Motor, verbal, and eye responses are tested and rated. A score of 15 is normal/near normal and a score of 3 indicates a complete lack of responsiveness.

The Glasgow Outcome Scale Predicts Future Recovery

The Glasgow Outcome Scale is NOT the same as the Glasgow Coma Scale. It is a broad scale that estimates the recovery the victim will make, but does not adequately describe all the difficulties that brain injury victims face. The ratings of the Glasgow Outcome Scale are:

5 = Good Recovery - normal or near normal recovery

4 = Moderate Disability - disabled but independent

3 = Severe Disability - dependant with physical or psychological disabilities or both

2 = Persistent Vegetative State

1 = Dead

Functional Independent Measure (FIM)

The Functional Independent Measure (FIM) rates an individual’s independence level for the activities of daily living. The areas included in the scale include self-care, bowel and bladder management, locomotion, transfers, communication, and social cognition. FIM scores range from 1-complete dependence to 7-complete independence.

Functional Assessment Measure (FAM)

The Functional Assessment Measure (FAM) is used with the Functional Independent Measure (FIM). FAM was developed specifically for victims of brain injury. It consists of 12 items added to the 18 items of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Scores are similar on both tests.

Disability Rating Scale (DRS)

The Disability Rating Scale (DRS) measures an individual’s progress over the course of their recovery. It rates an individual’s level of disability from None to Extreme. This scale considers cognitive function, physical ability, impairment, disability, and handicap to present a thorough depiction of the individual’s level disability.

Rancho Los Amigos Level of Cognitive Functioning Scale

The Rancho Los Amigos level of cognitive functioning scale is used to measure cognitive function. There is an eight level scale and a revised 10 Level Scale. The scale very specifically describes the behavior, neurological response, learning ability and self-care ability of brain injury patients.

Have You Or A Loved One Suffered A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

If you've suffered a brain or spinal cord injury you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.