The Karnofsky score runs from 100 to 0, where 100 is “perfect” health and 0 is death. Although practitioners occasionally assign performance scores in between standard intervals of 10. This scoring system is named after Dr. David A. Karnofsky, who described the scale with Dr. Joseph H. Burchenal in 1949.
The primary purpose of its development was to allow physicians to evaluate a patient's ability to survive chemotherapy for cancer.
100 - Normal; no complaints; no evidence of disease.
90 - Able to carry on normal activity; minor signs or symptoms of disease.
80 - Normal activity with effort; some signs or symptoms of disease.
70 - Cares for self; unable to carry on normal activity or to do active work.
60 - Requires occasional assistance, but is able to care for most of his personal needs.
50 - Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care.
40 - Disabled; requires special care and assistance.
30 - Severely disabled; hospital admission is indicated although death not imminent.
20 - Very sick; hospital admission necessary; active supportive treatment necessary.
10 - Moribund; fatal processes progressing rapidly.
0 - Dead