The easiest way to check Glasgow Coma Scale is through our medical GCS calculator, which is handy and easy to use. It has been widely used in medicine for decades. For example, for every accident, when an individual gets injured (mostly head injuries), doctors measure the GCS to determine the mortality rate.

In addition, if you are curious about whether you are addicted to nicotine, you can determine it easily using our HSI Calculator. For blood pressure and mobility testing and the overall health status of a person, you can check out our Aldrete Score Calculator. Also, there is our QUICKI Calculator, to measure insulin sensitivity.

What is Glasgow Coma Scale – Definition

What does Glasgow Coma Scale mean in medicine?

When an individual gets into any type of accident and suffers from a traumatic brain injury, the system used to measure the level of responsiveness is called the Glasgow Coma Scale. It is a reliable and objective way to monitor the initial and subsequent level of a person’s consciousness at the accident site (e.g., car crash). It measures and grades three vital functions:

  • Eye Opening
  • Verbal Response
  • Motor Response

History

Do you know when Glasglow Coma Scale was invented and who invented it?

It is recorded that it was first found and used in 1974. More specifically, Graham Teasdale and Bryan Jennett, two neurosurgery professors at the University of Glasgow, are considered the creators and inventors of this medical assessment tool.

However, it hasn’t been so popular and utilized for medical purposes since the 1980s, when it became widespread. Then, it was recommended to be used for trauma patients. Additionally, its use was increased; for instance, the WFNS started using it to grade patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Today, the Glasgow Coma Scale Assessment found its use in numerous clinical guidelines and scoring systems for trauma or critical illness victims. It has been utilized for decades for patients of any age and in over 75 countries worldwide.

Components of Glasgow Coma Scale

Each Glasgow Coma Scale test consists of three parts (components):

  • Eye response (E)
  • Verbal response (V)
  • Motor response (M)

It’s important to observe the injured person regularly while performing those tests. For example, if GCS is less than 15, it is recommended to check on him every half an hour. On the other hand, if its value reaches 15, you should check the injured person every half an hour, then hourly, every two hours, etc.

ComponentResponsePoints
EEyes open spontaneously
Eye-opening to verbal command
Eye-opening to pain
No eye-opening
Not testable*
4
3
2
1
NT
VOriented
Confused
Inappropriate words
Incomprehensible sounds
No verbal response
Not testable/intubated*
5
4
3
2
1
NT
MObeys commands
Localizes pain
Withdrawal from pain
Flexion to pain
Extension to pain
No motor response
Not testable*
6
5
4
3
2
1
NT
Components – their Response and Points

Glasgow Coma Scale – Formula

We calculate the GCS score by adding the points from three tests: eye, motor, and verbal response. Each option you select holds a certain number of points. Therefore, the more points a patient earns, the higher the score will be.

\text{GCS score = E + V + M}

Glasgow Coma Scale Interpretation

Each test holds a different number of points that a patient can score at maximum. However, the total number of points you can score in the assessment is 15. In addition, here is a Glasgow Coma Scale Range table.

ScoreBrain injury severityCharacteristics and consequences
3 – 8SevereLong-term cognitive and physical impairment with emotional and behavioral changes
9 – 12ModerateLong term cognitive and physical impairment
13 – 15HighTemporary or permanent neurological effects but sometimes no imagistic evidence of brain damage
GCS Score Interpretation

GCS and PGCS

In comparison to the standard Glasgow Coma Scale, Pediatric Glasgow Coma Scale (PGCS) is used to assess the level of consciousness of a person suffering from traumatic brain injury for younger children under the age of 2. PGCS is the perfect assessment tool for kids and toddlers who haven’t yet developed the speaking ability and those who need acute intervention.

PGCS consists of the same tests as it is the case for the standard GCS: eye-opening, V, and M response. It uses the same formula for calculations, but the interpretation is a bit different. For example, if an individual scores 13 or higher, we interpret it as a mild brain injury. A score between 9 and 12 is a moderate injury, while 8 or less represents a severe brain injury.

GCS Calculator – How to Use?

Finally, we come to the “juicy” part. Surely, you must have gotten confused or unclear about the Glasgow Coma Scale and how we measure its score for an injured person. If you think that it’s painful and difficult to measure an individual’s GCS score – you are so wrong. We made a tool that takes your input observations of a patient and returns the GCS score.

Steps:

Check the eye-opening of an injured person and select one of the given options:

  1. Does not open eyes
  2. Opens eyes: in response to pain, voice or spontaneously

Then, continue with the (V) assessment and choose:

  1. Makes no sounds
  2. Makes sounds
  3. Words
  4. Confused, disoriented
  5. Oriented, converses normally

Complete the score check with the last test – motor response:

  1. Makes no movements
  2. Extension to painful stimuli
  3. Abnormal flexion to painful stimuli
  4. Withdrawal to painful stimuli
  5. Localizes to painful stimuli
  6. Obeys commands

After following each step, the GCS calculator will add the points and give you the GCS value.

GCS Calculator – Example

Scenario: We are at the accident site, the injured person is hospitalized, and now we want to measure the one’s level of consciousness.

Steps:

  • (E): The person opens his eyes in response to pain.
  • (V): The injured person makes no sound.
  • (M): The patient does not move.
  • The GCS value: 4 points, indicating that the patient is close to a deep coma and has a high mortality rate.

Choose our GCS Calculator over the traditional way of calculating, because it’s quick, reliable and easy to use.

FAQ

How to calculate GCS?

It is calculated by observing the level of consciousness of a person conducting three tests.

What is the normal GCS?

The normal value is any value between 3 and 15. A value of 3 is the worst case, whereas 15 is the best, and it tells us that the injured person is fully awake and in stable condition.

What does a GCS of 3 mean?

GCS of 3 indicates that the injured person is in a brain-dead state. If one scores 3 in the assessment, it signalizes a high mortality rate and low chance of surviving.

What does a GCS of 9 mean?

GCS of 9 means that an individual suffers from a mild head injury and is not critical. Therefore, it is a sign that the person has a high survival rate.

What does a low Glasgow coma scale mean?

A low GCS indicates (sign) a low survival rate. Thus, the lower score you have, the fewer chances are to survive the injury.

What is a stage 3 coma?

A stage 3 coma is the deadliest condition for an injured person. Importantly, scientists claim that it leads to a 100% mortality rate.

What does the Glasgow coma scale assess?

According to scientific research, GCS assesses the level of consciousness of impaired and injured patients. It conducts the assessment using the three responsiveness tests: eye-opening, motor, and verbal responses.