The value of the Glasgow Coma Scale and Injury Severity Score: predicting outcome in multiple trauma patients with head injury

J Trauma. 1989 Jun;29(6):746-8. doi: 10.1097/00005373-198906000-00008.


This retrospective study of multiple trauma patients requiring SICU admission was undertaken to determine to what extent, if any, head injury affected patient outcome. One hundred seventy such patients with head injuries had further analysis. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) values at approximately 5 hours postinjury were evaluated, and the Glasgow Outcome Scale was determined 1 month postinjury. A good recovery was seen in 99% of the 87 patients with GCS 15-13. This fell to 71% of the 24 patients with GCS 12-9. Among 59 patients having a GCS below 9, 41% died and an additional 17% had a poor recovery, leaving only 35% with an eventual good outcome. By using both Injury Severity Score and GCS at 6 hours postinjury, physicians will be more accurate in assessing outcome of multiple trauma patients with head injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coma / classification*
  • Coma / mortality
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / classification
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / classification
  • Multiple Trauma / mortality
  • Multiple Trauma / pathology*
  • Prognosis