GCU lecturer helps update Glasgow Coma Scale

29 October 2014

GCU lecturer helps update Glasgow Coma Scale

Evelyn and her three colleagues carried out the project to mark the Glasgow Coma Scale's 40th anniversary

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) lecturer Evelyn McElhinney is part of a project focused on reviewing and updating the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), a neurological scale that aims to give a reliable, objective way of recording the conscious state of a person.

The scale was originally developed by Professors Sir Graham Teasdale and Bryan Jennett in 1974 and is the most common method used to describe the level of consciousness in a person following a traumatic brain injury.

Evelyn, a lecturer in the Nursing and Community Health department in the University’s School of Health and Life Sciences, and three colleagues including former GCU senior lecturer Douglas Allan, carried out the project to mark its 40th anniversary.

The four-strong team, led by Sir Teasdale, carried out a review of the scale to understand its current use, its successes and its perceived shortcomings, and updated it to address variations in technique that have developed over time.

Sir Teasdale said: “The GCS is now used in more than 80 countries and has been translated into 60 languages. This widespread acceptance has led to increasing variations in the way it is used.

“To encourage more consistent use of the scale, we have set out a standardised, structured approach to assessment. This will make sure it remains an accurate and useful tool.”

The GCS was initially used to assess levels of consciousness in patients following head injuries andit is now used throughout the world in first aid and acute medical and trauma patients. It is also used in hospitals to monitor chronic patients in intensive care.

A paper on updating the GCS was featured in the Nursing Times publication earlier this month. Read the feature online (subscription required) or find out more on the GCS website.




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