The Glasgow Coma Scale and Prognosis in Gunshot Wounds to the Brain

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To determine which factors predict survival in patients with gunshot wounds to the brain, 192 patients who had intracranial injury demonstrated on computed tomographic (CT) scanning were retrospectively reviewed. Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores on admission seemed to be the most important factor in predicting survival. Age, the presence of extruded brain, and use of a shotgun could not be shown to be factors independent of admission GCS score. Findings on CT scans (single lobe vs. multilobe involvement) helped to predict survival only in patients with GCS scores 5-13. The mortality rate was 35%. Among survivors 18% had brain-related long-term disability, and an additional 27% had long-term disability related to associated eye injury.

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