Head injuries should be treated at specialised hospitals

People with head injuries should be taken to the most appropriate hospital for them, even if this means travelling further afield.

Those who suffer a head injury are often taken to their nearest hospital for treatment, but new draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommend that ambulance crews always take them to hospitals with the right resuscitation equipment.

Under the proposals, a child with a head injury would be taken to a paediatric unit with resuscitation equipment specially sized for use on youngsters.

Around 1.4 million people attend A&E in England and Wales each year with a head injury, of which up to 700,000 are children under the age of 15.

Some 2,000 individuals, meanwhile, are admitted to hospital because of head injuries. They are the most common cause of death and disability in people under 40.

Head injury claim

A head injury can have devastating effects on the person involved and their loved ones. Even minor head injuries can present problems such as memory loss and headaches – all of which can hinder employment.

A large number of such cases, whether they’re caused by accident or criminal assault, therefore, result in a head injury claim as people seek compensation – something which Accident Advice Helpline can help with.

CT brain scan

The new guidelines also suggest that children and adults with a head injury that could be serious or life-threatening should be given a CT brain scan within one hour.

Serious symptoms include the person having a seizure, a suspected skull fracture, repeated vomiting or loss of consciousness.

Nice suggests others should be scanned within four to eight hours of the injury taking place, depending on its severity. At present, it is recommended that people should be scanned within eight hours.

It also wants to a hospital doctor or specialist who is trained in dealing with sensitive cases – such as domestic abuse – to be involved in checking any patient with a head injury who is seen at A&E.

Source: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

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