Glasgow Coma Scale:
This test is routinely employed in head injury patients to assess the level of brain damage. The patient's ability to open the eyes, the verbal response of the patient and the level neurological functioning are tested. The test has a total of 15 points and the patients are rated for each of the above parameter. A score of 15 means that the patient is normal while 13 to 14 signifies a mild injury. Moderate injury rates to a score of 9 to 12 while a score of 0 is diagnostic of brain death.
Different forms of imaging modalities such as X-rays (demonstrates presence of fractures in the neck and skull), Computed Tomography/CT scan (reveals presence of bone/skull fractures, bleeding, hematoma, inflammation of the brain, and brain tumors) and Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) can be used in assessing the extent of head injury and damage to the brain and other vital organs. The cost associated with MRI and the non-availability of this form of imaging in all emergency wards limit the use of MRI in assessing head injury. In addition to the above-mentioned imaging techniques, cerebral angiography, electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial Doppler ultrasound, and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) might be used to assist in the diagnosis.