Short for Alert-Voice-Pain-Unresponsive, this score provides a tool for rapid assessment of consciousness. Due to its ease of use and simplicity, it is often employed by paramedics and other first responders.

A – The patient is awake and alert. This does not necessarily mean that they are orientated to time and place or neurologically responding normally.

V – The patient is not fully awake, and will only respond to verbal commands or become roused after verbal stimuli.

P – The patient is difficult to rouse and will only respond to painful stimuli, such as nail bed pressure or trapezius pain.

U – The patient is completely unconscious and unable to be roused.

With reference to the GCS, the categories correspond as follows:

  • Alert = 15 GCS
  • Voice Responsive = 12 GCS
  • Pain Responsive = 8 GCS
  • Unconscious = 3 GCS