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Poor relation between Glasgow coma scale and survival after head injury

Georgios K. Matis, Theodossios A. Birbilis

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(2): CR62-65

ID: 869556

Background: Early indicators or predictors of outcome after head injury can affect clinical decision making and the choice of case-specific approaches to rehabilitation.
Material and Method: A retrospective study of 60 patients with a head injury who had been admitted to a tertiary care hospital intensive care unit was undertaken to explore the possible correlations between the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and outcome. The correlation among the GCS, GCS eye (GCS-E), GCS verbal (GCS-V), and GCS motor (GCS-M) components and outcome (survival or death) was assessed by constructing contingency Tables and performing the Pearson chi2 and likelihood ratio tests. The statistical significance was set at a P value of 0.05.
Results: The mean total GCS score was 6.39+/-0.554 (6.81+/-0.983 for survivors and 5.55+/-0.706 for nonsurvivors). The most frequent GCS score, which was 3 (61.67%), was followed by scores of 15 and 14 (10% and 6.7%, respectively). No correlation was found between outcome and the GCS, GCS-E, GCS-V, or GCS-M components.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the GCS has a limited predictive value of outcome in patients with a head injury, particularly if used as sole predictor or in patients with a mild-to-moderately severe injury.

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