The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a clinical scale used to reliably measure a person’s level of consciousness after a brain injury. The GCS assesses a person based on their ability to perform eye movements, speak, and move their body.
These three behaviours make up the three elements of the scale: eye, verbal, and motor. A person’s GCS score can range from 3 (completely unresponsive) to 15 (responsive).
This score is used to guide immediate medical care after a brain injury (such as a car accident) and also to monitor hospitalized patients and track their level of consciousness.
Unlike pretty much every other score, the lower GCS scores means a higher risk of death. However, the GCS score alone should not be used on its own to predict the outcome for an individual person with brain injury. It’s simply a guide, that’s pretty much all.