We present a case involving a catastrophic injury that resulted from a completely obstructed airway when an examinee choked on food. She had cardiopulmonary arrest and developed a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy associated with profound neurological losses. The evaluation of the consequences of severe central nervous system injury necessitates evaluation and rating of all the sequelae of that injury. The first step is clinical assessment, followed by thoughtful application of these data to the processes and criteria provided in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides). The approaches discussed in the fifth and sixth editions of the AMA Guides are similar.

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