Emergency management of head injuries
Kevin Turner, Adam Jones, and Ashok Handa give a step by step guide to dealing with patients who have head injuries
- By: Kevin Turner, John Radcliffe, Adam Jones, Ashok Handa
Some one million patients present to British hospitals each year with a head injury.1 The management of this huge patient load falls mainly to accident and emergency departments, and as a senior house officer in casualty you will see many such patients. However, since 20% of those attending with a head injury are admitted, and since most admitted patients are cared for by general or orthopaedic surgeons, many house officers also find themselves participating in the care of these patients. You will need to become skilful in the management of serious head injuries, which, like most emergencies are less daunting than you might think if you keep calm and act in a logical sequence. In many ways minor head injuries are more of a test of your clinical acumen, as difficult decisions have to be made about who to investigate or admit and who to send home.
Statistics about head