Glasgow Coma Scale

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scale

 [skāl]
1. a thin flake or compacted platelike body, as of cornified epithelial cells. See also squama.
2. a scheme or device by which some property may be measured (as hardness, weight, linear dimension).
3. to remove incrustations or other material from a surface, as from the enamel of teeth.
absolute scale (absolute temperature scale)
1. one with its zero at absolute zero (−273.15°C, −459.67°F).
ASIA scale a descriptive tool developed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) as a part of the complete classification of patients with spinal cord injuries. Called also Frankel Classification. See accompanying table.
Bayley S's of Infant Development a psychological test for assessing development of infants, using motor, mental, and behavioral developmental scales.
Borg scale a numerical scale for assessing dyspnea, from 0 representing no dyspnea to 10 as maximal dyspnea.
Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment scale a behavioral assessment scale used to evaluate the interactive behavior of a newborn by its responses to environmental stimuli.
Celsius scale (C) a temperature scale with zero at the freezing point of water and the normal boiling point of water at 100 degrees. The abbreviation 100°C should be read “one hundred degrees Celsius.” (For equivalents of Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures, see Appendix.)
centigrade scale one with 100 gradations or steps between two fixed points, as the Celsius scale.
Fahrenheit scale (F) a temperature scale with the freezing point of water at 32 degrees and the normal boiling point of water at 212 degrees. The abbreviation 100°F should be read “one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.” (For equivalents of Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures, see Appendix.)
French scale one used for denoting the size of catheters, sounds, and other tubular instruments, each French unit (symbol F) being approximately 0.33 mm in diameter.
Glasgow Coma scale a standardized system for assessing response to stimuli in a neurologically impaired patient, assessing eye opening, verbal response, and motor ability. Reaction scores are depicted in numerical values, thus minimizing the problem of ambiguous and vague terms to describe the patient's neurologic status. (See accompanying Table.) The total score is obtained by adding E, M, and V; a score of 7 or less indicates coma and a score of 9 or more rules out coma.
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale a hundred-point scale used as axis V of DSM-IV to assess a client's recent and current levels of social, psychological, and occupational functioning.
gray scale a representation of intensities in shades of gray, as in gray-scale ultrasonography.
interval scale a scale having equal numerical distances between intervals in addition to mutually exclusive categories, exhaustive categories, and rank ordering but no zero point.
Karnofsky scale (Karnofsky performance scale) a widely used performance scale, assigning scores ranging from 0 for a nonfunctional or dead patient to 100 for one with completely normal functioning.
Kelvin scale an absolute scale in which the unit of measurement, the kelvin, corresponds to that of the Celsius scale; therefore the ice point is at 273.15 kelvins.
Likert scale a tool used to determine opinions or attitudes; it contains a list of declarative statements, each followed by a scale on which the subject is to indicate degrees of intensity of a given feeling.
Neonatal Behavior Assessment scale Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.
performance scale a scale that measures a patient's performance status, serving as a prognostic indicator of seriousness of disease or disability. The most widely used scale is the Karnofsky scale.
Problem Rating scale for Outcomes see problem rating scale for outcomes.
semantic differential scale a measurement device that consists of two opposite adjectives with a seven-point scale between them; each item under examination is assigned to a specific point on the scale.
temperature scale one for expressing degree of heat, based on absolute zero as a reference point, or with a certain value arbitrarily assigned to such temperatures as the ice point and boiling point of water.

co·ma scale

a clinical scale to assess impaired consciousness; assessment may include motor responsiveness, verbal performance, and eye opening, as in the Glasgow (Scotland) c.s., or the same three items and dysfunction of cranial nerves, as in the Maryland (U.S.) c.s.

Glasgow Coma Scale

n.
A scale for measuring level of consciousness, especially after a head injury, in which scoring is determined by three factors: the ability to open the eyes, verbal responsiveness, and motor responsiveness.

Glasgow Coma Scale

a quick, practical standardized system for assessing the degree of consciousness in the critically ill and for predicting the duration and ultimate outcome of coma, primarily in patients with head injuries. The system involves eye opening, verbal response, and motor response, all of which are evaluated independently according to a rank order that indicates the level of consciousness and degree of dysfunction. The degree of consciousness is assessed numerically by the best response. The results may be plotted on a graph to provide a visual representation of the improvement, stability, or deterioration of a patient's level of consciousness, which is crucial to predicting the eventual outcome of coma. The sum of the numeric values for each parameter can also be used as an overall objective measurement, with 15 indicative of no impairment, 3 compatible with brain death, and 7 usually accepted as a state of coma. The test score can also function as an indicator for certain diagnostic tests or treatments, such as the need for a computed tomography scan, intracranial pressure monitoring, and intubation. The scale has a high degree of consistency even when used by staff with varied experience.

Glasgow Coma Scale

A scoring system for evaluating the severity of CNS involvement in head injury, which measures 3 parameters—motor response, verbal response and eye opening response—from 0 (brain death) to a maximum score of 15 for normal cerebral function. The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to estimate and categorise the probable outcomes of patients with brain injury based on overall social capability or dependence on others.

Glasgow Coma Scale
I. Motor Response
6—Obeys commands fully;
5—Localizes to noxious stimuli;
4—Withdraws from noxious stimuli;
3—Abnormal flexion, i.e. decorticate posturing;
2—Extensor response, i.e. decerebrate posturing;
1—No response.

II. Verbal Response
5—Alert and Oriented;
4—Confused, yet coherent, speech;
3—Inappropriate words and jumbled phrases consisting of words;
2—Incomprehensible sounds;
1—No sounds.

III. Eye Opening
4—Spontaneous eye opening;
3—Eyes open to speech;
2—Eyes open to pain;
1—No eye opening.

The final score is determined by adding the values of I+II+III, resulting in four tiers of coma severity:
Mild (13-15)

Moderate Disability (9-12):
• Loss of consciousness > 30 minutes;
• Physical or cognitive impairments which may or may resolve;
• Benefit from Rehabilitation.

Severe Disability (3-8): Unconscious; no meaningful response, no voluntary activities.

Vegetative State (< 3):
• Sleep wake cycles;
• Arousal, but no interaction with environment;
• No localized response to pain.

Persistent Vegetative State:
• Vegetative state lasting longer than one month;

Brain Death:
• No brain function.

Glasgow coma scale

Critical care A method for evaluating the severity of CNS involvement in head injury, which measures 3 parameters–maximum score of 15 for normal cerebral function, 0 for brain death. Cf Harvard criteria, Pittsburgh score.
Glasgow coma scale
Best motor response, ie subject obeys commands 6, if none 0
Best verbal response, ie oriented 5, if no response 0
Eye opening, if spontaneous 4, if none 0; the GCS is less useful in

Glas·gow Co·ma Scale

(glas'gō kō'mă skāl)
A measure used to assess level of consciousness and reaction to stimuli in a neurologically impaired patient based on performance in three categories: eye opening, verbal response-performance, and motor responsiveness. Lower scores predict poorer outcomes.
Synonym(s): outcome score.
[Glasgow, Scotland]

Glasgow coma scale

A numerical method of evaluating the level of coma by assigning numbers to the response to three groups of responses to stimulation—eye opening, best obtainable verbal response, and best obtainable movement (motor) response. The scores are added and a deteriorating total suggests the need for a change in management.

Glasgow Coma Scale

see trauma score.