Traumatic brain injuries are most often medical emergency requiring immediate treatment, so doctors need to make diagnoses quickly. There are a number of tests that can be used to assess brain injury, including:
- The Glasgow coma scale: This is a 15-point test that helps a doctor evaluate the initial severity of the brain injury by assessing the patient’s ability to move his or her eyes and limbs, as well as the individual’s speaking coherence.
- Imaging tests: CT scans can be used to create detailed images of the brain and allow doctors to quickly visualize fractures, hemorrhages, blood clots, contusions and brain swelling. After the patient has stabilized, MRIs may be used as well.
- Intracranial pressure monitor: This is a problem inserted through the skull to assess whether a traumatic brain injury has increased pressure inside the skull that can damage the brain.