Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale was developed in 1974 to assess the severity of head trauma, and is split into three categories; eyes, verbal and motor.

Each category gives a score, with the highest being the least severe and lowest being the most severe. The details behind each individual score will be explained.

Eye Opening
Spontaneous4 pointsPatient’s eyes open spontaneously 
To verbal command3 pointsPatient’s eyes open after sound (for example, shouting)
To pain2 pointsPatient’s eyes open after pressing pressure by fingernail? tip
None1 pointPatient doesn’t open eyes
Best Motor Response

Obeys verbal command6 pointsPatient performs a two step action – squeezing hands, opening mouth & sticking out tongue
Localizes painful stimuli5 pointsPatient reacts to pressure by moving their hand above their collarbone in an attempt to move the stimulus away 
Flexion withdrawal from pain4 pointsPatient reacts to pressure by bringing the elbow rapidly away from the body
Decorticate response to pain3 pointsPatient reacts to pressure by bringing the arm slowly across the body
Decerebrate response to pain2 pointsPatient reacts to pressure by elbow extension (straightening)
None1 pointPatient doesn’t react to pressure
Best Verbal Response

Oriented conversation5 pointsPatient can tell you where they are, their name and the month of the year
Disorientated conversation4 pointsPatient can speak in phrases/sentences but is unable to answer the above questions correctly
Inappropriate words3 pointsPatient can’t talk coherently, and utters single words
Incomprehensible words3 pointsPatient moans and groans, with no recognisable words
None1 pointPatient makes no sound

The reliability is high with this score, and the results are categorised here:

  • Severe head trauma: GCS 8 or less
  • Moderate head trauma: GCS 9-12
  • Mild head trauma: GCS 13-15

For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask:

0161 209 2980

Ed Madeley M.Ost