New Coma Scale: FOUR

Excerpted from a Mayo Clinic press release:

Mayo Clinic Develops New Coma Measurement System
Tool quantifies level of consciousness, severity of brain injury

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic neurologists have created the first new, reliable and easy-to-use clinical tool in 30 years for measuring coma depth, a proposed replacement for the Glasgow Coma Scale. The new scoring system, called the FOUR (Full Outline of UnResponsiveness) Score, will be described in the October issue of Annals of Neurology, to be published online Friday, Sept. 9.

When using the FOUR Score, evaluators assign a score of zero to four in each of four categories, including eye, motor, brain stem and respiratory function. A score of four represents normal functioning in each category, while a score of zero indicates nonfunctioning.

A coma scoring system is used by physicians to initially assess a comatose patient to determine the severity of the brain injury, to monitor the patient’s ongoing progress, and to determine the best treatment during a coma. Scores also help physicians determine whether a patient is likely to live, and if so, how disabled the patient might be upon recovery.

EMS Helicopters

There’s been a substantial growth in the number of helicopters / bases in Iowa of late. This is an excerpt from an article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Two helicopter ambulances were attempting to land at the same time on a roof at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. Security crews were scrambling to wave the pilots off safely. And emergency-room physicians had no idea who the patients were hovering overhead.

When that occurred more than a year ago, Lillie Bigginsrealized that Tarrant County’s emergency air services had been transformed.

It’s an increasingly competitive landscape that reflects changes nationwide, where a rise in air-transport services is bringing more flights to rural areas and raising concerns about safety, effectiveness and expense.

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