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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28038

Heim, C; Schoettker, P; Gilliard, N; Spahn, D R (2009). Knowledge of Glasgow coma scale by air-rescue physicians. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 17:39.

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OBJECTIVE: To assess the theoretical and practical knowledge of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) by trained Air-rescue physicians in Switzerland. METHODS: Prospective anonymous observational study with a specially designed questionnaire. General knowledge of the GCS and its use in a clinical case were assessed. RESULTS: From 130 questionnaires send out, 103 were returned (response rate of 79.2%) and analyzed. Theoretical knowledge of the GCS was consistent for registrars, fellows, consultants and private practitioners active in physician-staffed helicopters. The clinical case was wrongly scored by 38 participants (36.9%). Wrong evaluation of the motor component occurred in 28 questionnaires (27.2%), and 19 errors were made for the verbal score (18.5%). Errors were made most frequently by registrars (47.5%, p = 0.09), followed by fellows (31.6%, p = 0.67) and private practitioners (18.4%, p = 1.00). Consultants made significantly less errors than the rest of the participating physicians (0%, p < 0.05). No statistically significant differences were shown between anesthetists, general practitioners, internal medicine trainees or others. CONCLUSION: Although the theoretical knowledge of the GCS by out-of-hospital physicians is correct, significant errors were made in scoring a clinical case. Less experienced physicians had a higher rate of errors. Further emphasis on teaching the GCS is mandatory.


2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Anesthesiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:10 Feb 2010 08:52
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:47
Publisher:BioMed Central
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1186/1757-7241-17-39
PubMed ID:19723331

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