TABLE 1

Candidate Variables

  1. Spontaneous eye opening

  2. Orientation

  3. Ability to follow commands

  4. Seizure after trauma

  5. Loss of consciousness

  6. Prolonged loss of consciousness

  7. Severe or progressive headache

  8. Coagulopathy

  9. Abnormal behavior

  10. Abnormal level of alertness

  11. Evidence of significant skull fracture

  12. Persistent vomiting

  13. Evidence of intoxication

  14. Motor deficit

  15. Gait abnormality

  16. Abnormal cerebellar function

  17. Cranial nerve abnormality

  18. Inability to read or write

  19. Scalp hematoma

  20. Neurologic deficita

  • Physicians reported whether each of the first 19 variables was present, absent, or unable to be determined (unknown). The 20th variable was a composite score created for data analysis. Definitions and scoring instructions are listed in Appendix 1.

  • a Neurologic deficit is a composite variable combining the responses to the first 3 items of the Glasgow Coma Scale score (spontaneous eye opening, orientation, ability to follow commands), motor deficit, gait abnormality, abnormal cerebellar function, and cranial nerve abnormality. Patients were assigned an abnormal value (neurologic deficit positive) if any of the constituent variables were abnormal and were only assigned a normal value if all constituent variables were classified as normal.