Experienced Head Trauma Lawyer Serving Nationwide
What is a Coma?
A coma is defined as a period of time, from hours or days to months, where
a patient is unconsciousness.
Yet comas are different and they often coincide with the level of
injury to the brain. For common identification, a scale, called the
Glasgow Scale, is used to determine the depth of the coma.
The Glasgow Coma Scale
Initially developed to provide physicians a simple way of measuring the
severity of the coma, The Glasgow Coma Scale is a set of criteria based
upon the patient’s eye movement, speech, and bodily movement.
Fully awake and alert, healthy individuals would have a Glasgow Coma Scale
rating of 15 for a healthy patient and 3 for a completely comatose –
or deceased – patient. Those patients in light comas often have
responses to stimuli. Some may even have many traits of conscious patients,
yet they are still considered to be in a coma, by the scale.
The Glasgow Scale measures three areas: Eye movement, verbal response and
For eye movement, or trying to open the eyes:
|Eyes fully open naturally
|Eyes fully open when commanded
|Eyes fully open when in pain
For Verbal Response:
|Oriented when commanded
|Disoriented or Confused
|Uses inappropriate words
|No verbal response
|Moves when commanded
|When in pain
|Withdraws when in pain
|Unusual repositioning when in pain (flexion)
|Unusual repositioning when in pain (extensor)
|No motor responses
Decorticate and Decerebrate Comas
The terms that describe the most traumatic of all comas are decorticate
and decerebrate. When the brain cortex has been injured and isn’t
working — or in other words, that part of the brain which deals
with movement, sensation, and thought – the injured individual is
deemed to be a decorticate patient. When the cerebrum, the cortex, and
the brain stem – which controls basic functions such as cardiac
and respiratory, or heartbeat and breathing — is not working, the
injured individual is deemed to be a decerebrate patient.
Some of these symptoms may be medically alleviated, but many are deadly
to the patient and his or her family.
Having an attorney at your side with a focus in brain injury litigation
is critical in providing you the opportunity to get the financial compensation
you deserve. You will not pay a thing unless you win your lawsuit. If
you win or settle your lawsuit, The Doan Law Firm will charge a percentage
of the compensation amount, leaving you free from the costs of the actual
The Doan Law Firm can assist in determining damages owed you after a brain injury. The Doan
Law Firm knows that although accidents don’t wait for daylight hours
to happen. However, we’re available to answer your phone call any
time, day or night, at
(800) 349-0000. Contact us today to learn more.