Deep coma does not always predict poor outcomes among patients with polytrauma

  • Jen-Fu Huang
  • Chun-Hsiang Ou Yang
  • Chih-Yuan Fu
  • Yu-Tung Wu
Original Article



This study aimed to clarify the prognosis of polytrauma patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with a Glasgow Coma Scale score (GCS) of 3.


A trauma registry system has been established at our institution since 2009. The current study reviewed patients in the registry who presented to the ED with a GCS of 3 from January 2011 to December 2015. Surviving and non-surviving patients were compared to identify the prognostic factors of patient survival. The study also aimed to determine the factors contributing to patients who survived with a GCS > 13 at discharge.


During the study period, 145 patients were enrolled in the study, 119 of whom (82.1%) did not survive the traumatic insult. Of the 26 survivors, 13 (9.0%) had a GCS of 14 or 15 at discharge. The multiple logistic regression revealed that a lack of bilateral dilated and fixed pupils (BFDP) (OR 5.967, 95% CI 1.780–19.997, p = 0.004) and a GCS > 3 after resuscitation (OR 6.875, 95% CI 2.135–22.138, p = 0.001) were independent prognostic factors of survival. Based on the multiple logistic regression, an age under 40 years (OR 16.405, 95% CI 1.520–177.066, p = 0.021) and a GCS > 3 after resuscitation (OR 12.100, 95% CI 1.058–138.352, p = 0.045) were independent prognostic factors of a GCS > 13 at discharge.


Aggressive resuscitation still provided benefit to polytrauma patients presenting with a GCS of 3, especially those with a rapid response to the resuscitation. Young patients with a deep coma on arrival had a higher probability of functional recovery after resuscitation in the ED.


Multiple trauma Traumatic brain injuries Coma Glasgow Coma Scale Mortality Recovery of function 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The current study was approved by Chang Gung Medical Foundation Institutional Review Broad with the reference No. 201700733B0.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Trauma and Emergency SurgeryChang Gung Memorial HospitalTaoyuan CityTaiwan, Republic of China

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