The Rancho Los Amigos Scale is a standardized procedure for assessing a patient who has suffered a blunt trauma to the head where the skin is not broken. The patient's cognition and behavior are assessed once they come out of a coma state. Patients are rated on a scale from 1 (non-responsive functioning) to 8 (purposeful and appropriate functioning).
As a rule, patients recovering from a head trauma that results in a coma go through the eight stages in order as they recover. However, the scale only assesses progress, it does not predict it, and many patients plateau at one of the stages.
The scale can be used on the patient's chart to communicate progress to all of the patient's treating health professionals including psychiatrists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists and speech/language pathologists. .