An extended Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS-E) with enhanced sensitivity to mild brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 May;81(5):614-7. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(00)90044-3.


Objective: The Glasgow Coma Scale-Extended (GCS-E) was developed to flag mild cases of concussion (corresponding to Grades I and II concussion as defined by the American Academy of Neurology) at the time of first contact with the health care system.

Subjects and setting: The GCS-E was applied to 561 consecutive admissions with GCS scores of 13 to 15 at two hospitals in South Africa and two in the United Kingdom (UK).

Results: The amnesia scale was readily learned and reliably applied by emergency department staff without affecting the standard scoring of the GCS itself. Among patients with an admitting GCS of 15, 27% in the UK and 31% in South Africa reported amnesia of some duration.

Conclusions: Wide use of the GCS-E would hold mild traumatic brain injury cases in the treatment loop, improve access to counselling, rehabilitation services, and personal injury compensation, and reduce the "cognitive dissonance" between victims of mild traumatic brain injury and treating professionals.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / diagnosis
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Amnesia / diagnosis
  • Amnesia / psychology
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • England
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology