Glasgow Coma Scale

The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) dates back to the 1970s and has become one of the most widely accepted measurements of impairment following brain injury. What better way to start using the GCS in your practice than with Carepatron’s free PDF GCS template download.

By Priya Singh on Mar 06, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What Is A Glasgow Coma Scale?

The , named for the University of Glasgow where it was created in 1974, is one of the most commonly used impairment scales following brain injury. This scale has been revised several times since its creation, and due to its widespread nature, it is often used in slightly different ways between institutions. In order to help standardize the Glasgow Coma Scale at your practice, and to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version of this tool, we have created an easy-to-use PDF Glasgow Coma Scale template.

Careptron’s GCS template will be your best friend at your patient’s bedside to ensure you are accurately documenting your results, using the correct specifications for each section of the scale, and can store the completed scale securely once completed. So to learn how you can use this free GCS template, just keep reading!

Printable Glasgow Coma Scale

Download this Glasgow Coma Scale and assess the severity of your client’s impairments following a brain injury.

How To Use This Glasgow Coma Scale Template

Carepatron’s Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) template is a great way to securely and accurately record your patient’s GCS results, and using it couldn’t be easier. Simply complete the Glasgow Coma Scale,(which we’ve included in the template!), as you usually would, and fill in the results in the spaces provided. If it’s been a while since you’ve used this scale, that’s no problem! Just follow the detailed steps below and you’ll be administering this widely used and very useful clinical scale in no time. 

Section One: Eye Opening

The first section of the Glasgow Coma Scale is Eye-opening. There are four possible results for this section: “4. Spontaneous”, “3. To Sound”, “2. To Pressure”, and “1. None”.

Section Two: Verbal Response

The next section is Verbal Response, and as it says in the name, this section measures your patient’s ability to respond verbally with three pieces of information; their name, their location, and the month of the year, also known as “person, place and time”. The possible scores for this section are “5. Orientated”, “4. Confused”, “3. Words”, “2. Sounds”, and “1. None”. You might see older versions of the GCS using different terminology such as “inappropriate” or “incomprehensible” for this section, but these terms have since been replaced with the more objective words listed above. 

Section Three: Motor Response

The last section of the GCS is Motor Response. There are six possible results for this section which are “6. Obey Commands”, “5. Localizing”, “4. Normal Flexion”, “3. Abnormal Flexion”, “2. Extension”, and “1. None”. For more detailed instructions on these possible responses, check out this article that sets out the latest revisions to the GCS, co-authored by one of the creators of the GCS- Sir Graham Teasdale. 

Present the Patient’s Scores

For each category, your patient will now have a single number summarizing their responsiveness. Different centers may have different ways they like to present the GCS results, with a common format being, for example, E = 3 V =2 M =3. Other centers may prefer to add these numbers to make a single total score, however, we recommend if you are taking this approach to also include the three separate numbers that make up the total, e.g. GCS 8 = E3 V2 M3. 

Glasgow Coma Scale Example (Sample)

To get a better idea of what this template might look like once it has been completed, just take a look at our example Glasgow Coma Scale template. This example has been completed based on a fictional patient and shows how you can use this template to record your patient’s responses and the corresponding scores for each of the three GCS sections. Take a look at our sample GCS Template below, or you can download the example PDF if you prefer.

Download this Glasgow Coma Scale Example (Sample) here:

Glasgow Coma Scale Example (Sample)

Who Can Use these Printable Glasgow Coma Scales (PDF)?

The Glasgow Coma Scale takes training and practice before it can be administered confidently, therefore it is used only by healthcare professionals in settings where head injuries need to be assessed or triaged. The kinds of professionals who may find themselves performing Glasgow Coma Scale assessments more frequently include:

  • Paramedics
  • Nurses
  • Emergency Doctors
  • Sports Doctors
  • Trained First Responders
  • ICU Nurses and Doctors

Why Is This Template Popular With Medical Practitioners?

Digital Format

Keeping your documentation digital is a great step towards improving your information security and meeting legal obligations to your patient’s privacy. This template can be completed entirely digitally thanks to the interactive PDF checkboxes, which have the added benefit of saving you time printing, as well as making it easy to send, store, and access securely. 

Reference Tool

You’ve got enough to commit to memory as it is, so let us take some of the pressure off. This GCS template includes the recommended ratings and scores of the Glasgow Coma Scale so you don’t have to memorize them!

General Practice Software Feedback

Why Use Carepatron For Glasgow Coma Scale Templates?

While an important measure of impairment following head injury, the Glasgow Coma Scale will likely be just one of many different assessments your patient undergoes often in a short period of time. As we’re sure you’re aware, every assessment and encounter with your patient must be accurately documented and the documentation stored securely as it will contain sensitive and confidential medical information. With multiple patients a day, or even an hour, this can quickly add up to a big administrative headache and an even bigger responsibility to maintaining your patient’s privacy.

That’s where Carepatron comes in. We offer bank-level encryption and HIPAA-compliant data storage that you can easily access from our mobile or desktop platform. In addition to security, Carepatron also offers a whole suite of practice management tools including a client list, appointment scheduling, video appointment functionality, medical coding and billing management, and, in addition to our emergency medical form, hundreds of forms, templates, and worksheets designed to standardize your practice and save you time. 

General Practice Software


Teasdale G, Allen D, Brennan P, McElhinney E, Mackinnon L. The Glasgow Coma Scale: an update after 40 years. Nursing Times 2014; 110: 12-16

When should I use the Glasgow Coma Scale?
When should I use the Glasgow Coma Scale?

Commonly asked questions

When should I use the Glasgow Coma Scale?

The Glasgow Coma Scale is designed to assess patients with impaired consciousness, usually due to an acute brain injury. This could be following head trauma, a stroke, a road or sporting accident, or any other event that has led to an impairment in your patient’s consciousness. The GCS can be administered multiple times to monitor progress following the initial injury, and the GCS results at each stage may inform treatment decisions.

What is the main function of the Glasgow Coma Scale?

The main function of the Glasgow Coma Scale is to provide a simple scale with which to quickly communicate a patient’s level of impairment to other healthcare practitioners, with the ultimate goal of informing treatment decisions at each stage.

How do I interpret the total GCS score?

It is not recommended to use the sum of the three GCS scores as the sole measure of your findings from the examination. As such, if tallying up a total score, you should ensure you also record the separate scores that contributed to the total and which section of the GCS they correspond to. That being said, many centers do use the total GCS score as a loose measure of the degree of impairment, with a common threshold dividing severe and moderate brain injury being a total score of 8. 

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