Hypothesis The initial Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) obtained by prehospital personnel on seizure victims is associated with the likelihood of treatment and transport. Methods: Prehospital data were collected prospectively for all patients presenting with seizures to a mid-sized emergency medical services system during a five-month period. A total of 419 cases occurred (62.8% male, 37.2 % female). Seizure frequency was highest in infants under the age of three years and in adults in their late 20s. A GCS was recorded in 378 cases (90.2%, study group). The GCS was =10 in 304 patients (80.4%) and ≤10 in 74 (19.6%). Patients with GCS ≤10 were more likely to receive: oxygen (50.0% vs. 20.1 %, p<.000l); IV (35.1% vs. 8.9%, p<.000l); intravenous (IV) medications (16.2% vs. 1.0%, p<.000l); and transport (97.3% vs. 76.3%, p<.000l). Conclusion: Seizure patients with a GCS of ≤10 were more likely to receive a variety of prehospital treatments and to be transported than were patients with GCS =10. However, the clinical indicators that were used to make the decision that it was “safe” not to transport nearly one-third of the patients are unclear. Essentially no data exist regarding the parameters impacting treatment and transport of seizure patients. Future investigations with outcome data, are needed to determine whether low risk criteria can be developed to identify those patients (if any) that do not require treatment or transport. A GCS may provide an objective, reproducible parameter upon which to begin formulating such criteria.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine