An avian Modified Glasgow Coma Scale as a prognostic indicator in raptors with head trauma

Kari D. Foss, Krista A. Keller, Sarah K. Reich, Dana Franzen-Klein, David Scott, Mariana Sosa-Higareda, Devon W. Hague, Julia Whittington, Matthew C. Allender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To develop a Modified Glasgow Coma Scale (MGCS) for use in raptors presenting with head trauma and assess the agreement of the MGCS scores between examiners with varying backgrounds, and to assess the prognostic value of the avian MGCS in raptors with head trauma. ANIMALS 156 native raptorial species. METHODS All raptors received an MGCS assessment within 8 hours of their presentation, between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. For the first objective, the assessment was performed by a veterinary student, a wildlife veterinarian, and a board-certified or resident veterinary neurologist. Each animal received a score in 3 categories (motor activity, level of consciousness, and brain stem reflexes) and an overall score. For the second objective, the MGCS scoring was performed by the intaking clinical team member and survival after 48 hours was documented. RESULTS Agreement between the 3 individual scores was assessed via Cronbach α and intraclass correlation. There was excellent-good agreement in all 3 assessment categories as well as the overall score. Univariate associations between survival and demographic factors were determined using the χ2 test. Overall, raptors with a total MGCS of < 10 were less likely to survive than those with a score > 12.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2023


  • Glasgow Coma score
  • avian
  • head trauma
  • raptor
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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