Diagnosing brain injury can happen quickly, but determining severity or prognosis is much more involved. The treatment team may conduct a variety of tests and assessments while the individual is in the hospital. These assessments are meant to assist the team in determining the best treatment for the individual.


Other Assessments

In addition to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), the treatment team will likely utilize other assessments to understand and classify the severity of brain injury. 

Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS)

The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) is a one-time tool the treatment team will use to measure the severity of brain injury. The AIS differs from other measures in that it represents the threat a brain injury presents to an individual’s life rather than assessing the severity of the injury.

Score  Injury 
1 Minor
2 Moderate
3 Serious
4 Severe
5 Critical
6 Not Survivable

JFK Coma Recovery Scale – Revised (JFK CRS-R)

The JFK Coma Recovery Scale – Revised (JFK CRS-R) is a measure often used by the treatment team to assess individuals who are in a minimally conscious or vegetative state. It is especially useful when measuring emerging consciousness. The JFK CRS-R measures 23 items addressing auditory, visual, motor, and automatic body functions. It also measures communication and arousal functions.

Galveston Orientation & Amnesia Test (GOAT)

The Galveston Orientation and Amnesia Test (GOAT) is one of several instruments used by the treatment team to measure post-traumatic amnesia. The test features ten questions that assess the patient’s temporal and spatial orientation (Where Am I?), biographical recall (Who Am I?), and memory (What Happened?).

Points are awarded for responses to each question, with a total of 100 points possible. A score of 78 or greater over three consecutive days indicates the patient is emerging from post-traumatic amnesia.

Younger patients (those under the age of fifteen) are given a modified version of the test, known as the Children’s Orientation and Attention Test (COAT).

Glasgow Outcome Scale – Extended (GOS-E)

The Glasgow Outcome Scale – Extended (GOS-E) is an extension of the GOS designed to address the original scale’s insensitivity to changes or progress over time. The GOS-E extends the original five categories in the GOS to eight:

  • Dead
  • Vegetative
  • Lower Severe Disability
  • Upper Severe Disability
  • Lower Moderate Disability
  • Upper Moderate Disability
  • Lower Good Recovery
  • Upper Good Recovery

Orientation Log (O-LOG)

The Orientation Log (OLOG) is one of several instruments used by the treatment team to measure post-traumatic amnesia. The OLOG measures the individual’s orientation to time, place, and circumstance over a period of time.

Westmead Post-Traumatic Amnesia Scale (WPTAS)

The Westmead Post-Traumatic Amnesia Scale (WPTAS) is a brief test that is often administered at the individual’s bedside by a member of his or her treatment team. The WPTAS measures the length of post-traumatic amnesia in patients who have sustained a brain injury.