UAB Traumatic Brain Injury Model System

How do doctors classify traumatic brain injury?

Doctors use a variety of methods to classify the severity of a TBI. Classification is done by using methods such as the Glasgow Coma Scale, The Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning, post traumatic amnesia duration, and neuroimaging of the brain.

See Resources

The Family Guide to The Rancho Levels of Cognitive Functioning
From Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, this evaluation tool identifies patterns of recovery for people with closed-head injury. It is most appropriate for use with traumatic brain injury patients with cognitive and memory deficits who are less than one-year post onset. The scale describes behavioral characteristics and cognitive deficits associated with brain injury to help the team understand and focus on the person's abilities in designing an appropriate treatment program.

MEDLINEplus: Head and Brain Injuries
This easy to use website of the National Library of Medicine provides links to articles, research reports, and organizations covering various aspects of head and brain injuries. Some information is available in Spanish.

What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a reliable, objective scoring measure to record the conscious state of a person for initial as well as subsequent assessment after brain injury. A score in the range 3-15; patients with scores of 3-8 are usually said to be in a coma. The total score is the sum of the scores in three categories.

Glasgow Coma Scale
This educational video is on the elements of a and its real world application for medical professionals. This video was created Washington State University College of Nursing.

Classifications of TBI from Journey Home - the CEMM Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Stages of Brain Injury
One of a series of videos from the Brain Injury Toolbox and developed by the Brain Injury Association of Illinois to disseminate educational materials and other materials that may be useful tools to those whose lives have been impacted by brain injury, for professionals working with individuals who have sustained a TBI, and to the community at large.