A patient came into the emergency room after hitting his head on the floor during a basketball game. The nurse is obtaining a Glasgow Coma Score on the patient. The score is as follows:

Best Eye Opening = 3
Best Motor Response = 6
Best Verbal Response = 4
Total GCS = 13
The nurse interprets these findings as

Opens eyes to speech/voice, obeys commands, and is confused.


• The Glasgow Coma Scale is a standardized system for assessing the degree of neurologic impairment. A score of 15 indicates that a patient is awake and oriented, while a score of 8 or below means a patient is considered comatose. It is composed of three subscales, including Best Eye Opening, Best Motor Response and Best Verbal Response.

• When a person opens his/her eyes to speech, he/she is given 3 points as Best Eye Opening.

• When a person obeys verbal commands, he/she is given 6 points as Best Motor Response.

• When a person shows confusion during conversation, he/she is given 4 points.

• The total GCS in this example is 13 (minor).

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