THE GCS STILL DOES NOT BELONG IN EMERGENCY MEDICINE

A while ago we wrote about the Glasgow Coma Scale and how it can´t be relied on for trauma patients or in emergency medicine in the acute phase.  We based it on an excellent editorial written by a Dr Stephen Greene. Now a study in EMJ seems to confirm Dr Greenes concerns. This time they tested the people who really should know the GCS, paramedic students.

The study
A prospective double-blinded observational study. Monash University paramedic students were exposed to four DVD recordings of four patients who displayed various GCS scores. The students had previously been exposed to a lecture, turorials and mannequin training in order to teach them how to calculate GCS scores.

Results
The study demonstrated how students struggled with the two patients who had GCSs in the low- to mid-range score of GCS 7 and 12. Only 20% and 37% accurately scored these patients correctly.

Take-home message
What will it take for this, at least in emergency medicine, abomination to go away?

Our previous thoughts on GCS lives here.

The study from Monash contaoins an excellent discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the GCS and you should probably read it.

It’ here:

Emerg Med J. 2013 Mar;30(3):e19. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201277. Epub 2012 Apr 13. Should an alternative to the Glasgow Coma Scale be taught to paramedic students? Winship C, Williams B, Boyle MJ.

This entry was posted in Emergency Medicine, Prehospital Medicine, Trauma. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to THE GCS STILL DOES NOT BELONG IN EMERGENCY MEDICINE

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