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Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale, a system of examining a comatose patient, can be helpful for evaluating the depth of the coma, tracking the patient's progress, and possibly predicting ultimate outcome of the coma. The Glasgow Coma Scale assigns a different number of points for exam results in three different categories: opening the eyes, verbal response (using words or voice to respond), and motor response (moving a part of the body). Fifteen indicates the highest level of functioning. An individual who spontaneously opens his or her eyes, gives appropriate answers to questions about his or her situation, and can follow a command (such as "move your leg," "nod your head") has the highest level of functioning. Three is the smallest possible number of points, and would be given to a patient who is unresponsive to a painful stimulus. In the middle are those patients who may be able to respond, but who require an intense or painful stimulus, and whose response may demonstrate some degree of brain malfunctioning. When performed as part of the admission examination, a Glasgow score of three to five points suggests that the patient likely has suffered fatal brain damage, while eight or more points indicates that the patient's chances for recovery are good.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceComa - Consciousness, Causes Of Coma, Outcome, Glasgow Coma Scale, The Ethical Dilemma Presented By Persistent Coma