Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 133, Issue 1–2, pp 56–59 | Cite as

Head-injured adult patients with GCS of 3 on admission — Who have a chance to survive?

  • Z. Kotwica
  • J. K. Jakubowski
Clinical Articles


The authors analysed a series of 111 adult patients admitted to the Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Łódź directly after trauma with initial GCS of 3 points. 74% of them had intracranial haematoma, mainly subdural, and were treated surgically within the first 3 hours after trauma. 8 patients had no abnormalities on CT scans.

99 (89%) patients died 2 to 30 days after injury, 8 (7%) survived in a vegetative state, and only in 4 (4%) was a satisfactory result noted, but 2 of them had a stable neurological deficit. 3 of these 4 patients had epidural haematomas and 1 had not abnormalities on repeated CT examinations.

We conclude, that among patients with GCS of 3 on admission, only those without major CT abnormalities or with epidural haematoma have a chance of survival. Cases with cerebral leasions on the initial CT examination have an invariably bad prognosis. They could be taken into account as a potential organ donor from the very moment of admission, but only after cerebral circulatory arrest occured and brain death has been proved according to internationally accepted standarts.


Severe head injury GCS 3 prognosis change of survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Kotwica
    • 1
  • J. K. Jakubowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryMedical University of Łódź High School of MedicinePoland

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