Background We assessed the prognostic value and limitations of Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and head Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS) and correlated head AIS with GCS. Study design We studied 7,764 patients with head injuries. Bivariate analysis was performed to examine the relationship of GCS, head AIS, age, gender, and mechanism of injury with mortality. Stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to identify the independent risk factors associated with mortality. Results The overall mortality in the group of head injury patients with no other major extracranial injuries and no hypotension on admission was 9.3%. Logistic regression analysis identified head AIS, GCS, age, and mechanism of injury as significant independent risk factors of death. The prognostic value of GCS and head AIS was significantly affected by the mechanism of injury and the age of the patient. Patients with similar GCS or head AIS but different mechanisms of injury or ages had significantly different outcomes. The adjusted odds ratio of death in penetrating trauma was 5.2 (3.9, 7.0), p < 0.0001, and in the age group ≥ 55 years the adjusted odds ratio was 3.4 (2.6, 4.6), p < 0.0001. There was no correlation between head AIS and GCS (correlation coefficient -0.31). Conclusions Mechanism of injury and age have a major effect in the predictive value of GCS and head AIS. There is no good correlation between GCS and head AIS.
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