Glasgow Coma Scale

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.

Can concussions be prevented?

  • Wear protective equipment. Participation in high-contact, high-risk sports such as football, hockey, boxing, and soccer can increase the likelihood of a concussion.
  • Skateboarding, snowboarding, horseback riding, and roller blading are also a threat to your brain’s health.
  • Wearing headgear, padding, and mouth and eye guards can help safeguard against traumatic head injuries. Wearing a bike helmet can lower the risk of traumatic head injury by 85%. Ensure that the equipment is properly fitted, well maintained, and worn consistently.
  • Drive and ride smart. Always wear a seatbelt, obey posted speed limits, and don’t use drugs or alcohol, because they can impair reaction time.
  • Don’t fight. Concussions are often sustained during an assault, and more males than females report traumatic head injuries.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN?

  • There many things that can be affected by a concussion.  The damage can affect Cognitive, Physical, Emotional, or Sleep elements.  Please see the diagram to the right for more, and click on it for more.
 
  • There’s an excellent book written about Concussions.  It focusses on the prevention, gives help to cope if you receive one, and “real stories” to help you understand that if you receive one, you’re not alone.

ABI vs. TBI

ABI vs. TBI
What’s the Difference?

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

The position of the Brain Injury Network is that acquired brain injury (ABI) includes traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), strokes, brain illness, and any other kind of brain injury acquired after birth. However, ABI does not include what are classified as degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

“A traumatically induced structural injury and/or physiological disruption of brain function as a result of an external force that is indicated by new onset or worsening of at least one of the following clinical signs, immediately following the event:

  • Any period of loss of or a decreased level of consciousness;
  • Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the injury;
  • Any alternation in mental state at the time of the injury (confusion, disorientation, slowed thinking, etc.);
  • Neurological deficits (weakness, loss of balance,  change in vision, praxis, paresis/plegia, sensory loss, aphasia, etc.) that may or may not be transient;
  • Intracranial lesion.
  • External forces may include any of the following events: the head being struck by an object, the head striking an object, the brain undergoing an acceleration/deceleration movement without direct external trauma to the head, a foreign body penetrating the brain forces generated from events such as a blast or explosion, or other force yet to be defined.”

Birth Trauma and Brain Injury

There is one subject regarding forms of TBI that is the source of some disagreement and that is with regard to the subject of brain injury produced by birth trauma. Generally speaking, brain trauma produced by the process of birth has been specifically excluded from being classified as a form of TBI by medical definitions. However, there are many mothers of babies being born with these birth brain injuries who are upset by that exclusion.

They see birth complications that result in these brain injuries as being forms of TBI. Some of these mothers see their children as being survivors of TBI, and they do not like that their children are excluded from this category.

Click the logo to read what does the OBIA (Ontario Brain Injury Association) say about the difference?

Visionary – Steve Jobs and now Elon Musk

This entry doesn't immediately seem to fit into this blog, because what it's about doesn't immediately fit with what this story is about. But, it is. Why? Because what I'm about is the minimizing the differences between myself, and someone who hasn't suffered an injury that's rendered them unable to drive. Put it this way, with what Elon is thinking, while the notion of my being able get into a Tesla is highly-unlikely (simply because of cost), the concept of taking one alone is impossible. However, with what he's proposing, not only will riding in one be possible, but doing so alone.
Teslas, are cooler than pretty much anything, of that there's no doubt, but they're not cheap! But, as with everything, while the price starts high, as skills/production/everything else improves, the cost to make will reduce.
Visionaries don't see the cost of making things, nor do they worry about "little things" that would get in the way, because all they see is the result.
Everything that's designed follows a 3-step process of questions, which is "what do we need?", followed by "how do we do it". At the centre is why it's being thought of. Nearly every invention follows the process, starting at the outside, and working in. Steve Jobs, who invented the Mac computers, followed it, but reversed the order. He thought of why what he's inventing is needed. He solved it, and worked out.
Elon Musk is a visionary, of that there's no doubt, because he's making going to space more of a common-thing, and now he's announced that he'll be into making self-driving taxis.
I'm looking at my computer, the where I store my info for backup, and this will show more of what I just said.
Everything that's somewhat standard now was "holy cow, that's awesome!!" when it was first launched, and cost a fortune. In a long time, cars like this will likely simply be "just a car", and the fact that it's driverless, and a taxi, won't be anything weird.

What is a concussion?

As Will Smith made evident, concussions are more than a "bump on the head", way more.  What's also unusual is that a concussion can be received with impact to another part of the body, not even the head.  What's also unusual is that a concussion can be received with impact to another part of the body, not even the head.
If you're hit on your body somewhere, that makes your head move, sharply, to one side and then back, your brain hits your skull, and it's like hitting your head with a hammer.
If your kid is hit on the head by the ball in the game, and gets a big bump, it's more often than not simply a visible injury, and not a concussion. However, make sure that you pay attention to your kid, periodically ask them random questions that take a moment to think, and make sure they're alert.
Make sure that you take your kid to see a doctor if they show:
• Persistent or worsening headache• Imbalance
• Vomiting• Memory loss or confusion
• Mood changes, such as irritability
Signs and symptoms may not be noticeable right away,
but if your headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea persists,
you should see a doctor.