Glasgow Coma Scale - page 2

The Glasgow Coma Scale has been used successfully for a number of years now BUT it has it's limitations. I find it especially limited with the non-verbal or ventilated patient. It is frustrating... Read More

  1. by   NeuroICURN
    Quote from janfrn
    In our hospital we don't utilize a modified Glasgow Coma Scale for our peds patients, although we really should. I think there are a bunch of changes to our charting coming down the pike though, and that wouldn't be a bad thing. Our practice with intubated patients is to score them on 10, only motor and eye opening. Not totally helpful, but.. I always include assessment data that doesn't fit into the round holes in my narrative notes, and I also make a point of reporting anything like that during rounds/report. It's frustrating to have to try and mold peds patients into the adult assessment scale, particularly kids with developmental issues. A while back I admitted a six year old who had fallen on some concrete steps. He was sent to PICU at 0130 because he had a GCS of 9-11 in ER, consistently scoring 1 for verbal. When I assessed him, I asked him if his head hurt and got an emphatic nod. I asked him if he was scared and he nodded again. Then I asked him if his name was Bobby (it wasn't) and he shook his head emphatically NO. I gave him 15/15. Then his foster mom came in and revealed that he had a speech disorder and communicated mostly with gestures. The GCS is just too limited, I think.
    Yes, I think it would be very difficult to apply the GCS to a child. Thanks for adding your input here. More power to you for being able to work with kids!
  2. by   mamsrn
    Utilizing the Glasgow coma scale can be frustrating at times. The total no. scale can vary if the pt is on Ventilator. My facility using "T" for verbal when pt on ventilator and the total score is not involved with assesment of possible outcome. I find it particularly frustrating when I care for a post-resuscitated patient: example is a pt that has flaccid extremeties but can move head away to avoid oral care and beginning to open eyes. This Pt does not follow commands. I have been scoring motor as a "1" since limb movement does not occur, but with hesitation since the pt is moving her head to avoid a stimulus. I have been carrying a card I made for a different coma scale: "FOUR score " measurement. I obtained this inormation from a Nursing Spectrum article , 2006 FALL CRITICAL CARE SPECIALTY GUIDE ( The source for this artical is Annals of Neurology, 2005;2005;58(4);585-593. It utilizes a score of 4 possible points or "0" score for 4 parameters: eye response, motor response, brainstem activity and respiration. I carry this card because I'm hoping someday to have a better assessment criteria in place. It takes into consideration activities such as eye tracking, and respiratory status (apnea, breathes above the vent, not intubated, etc.).
    My question: should the patients motor score be "1" since limbs do not move or higher since she moves her head to avoid oral care?