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Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was devised by doctors to assess head trauma and, importantly, to help keep track of patients' progress over a period of time. The scale is comprised of three tests: eye, verbal and motor responses. The lowest possible GCS is 3 whilst the highest is 15.

Best eye response: (E)

  1. No eye opening
  2. Eye opening to pain
  3. Eye opening to speech
  4. Eyes opening spontaneously

Best verbal response: (V)

  1. No verbal response
  2. Incomprehensible sounds
  3. Inappropriate words
  4. Confused
  5. Orientated

Best motor responses: (M)

  1. No motor response
  2. Extension to pain
  3. Flexion to pain
  4. Withdraws from pain
  5. Localises pain
  6. Obeys commands

This explains why staff in casualty departments of hospitals say things like "GCS 9 = E2 V4 M3".

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