Acute brain injury is another term for severe brain injury. The medical definition is a brain injury that results in loss of consciousness for 6 hours or more and rates a score of 3 to 8 on the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Glasgow Coma Scale
This is a system used by physicians and other medical personnel to diagnose and assess the symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It is a 15 point scale that measures motor responses (muscular movement), verbal responses (speech, sounds) and eye movement.
- 13 – 15 – Mild disability
- 9 – 12 – Moderate disability
- 3 – 8 – Severe disability, reflecting a coma (unconscious state) where there are no meaningful responses or voluntary activities.
- 0 – 2 – Vegetative state
It is estimated that over 5 million Americans currently live with a TBI disability.
Severe TBIs effect:
- Attention and memory
- Extremity (arms and legs) strength
- Coordination and balance
- Emotions – depression, anxiety, mood swings