Study: ERs fail to treat people with brain injuries adequately
Patients treated in emergency rooms for brain injuries may not be getting the right level of care, according to a new academic study published in late May.
Medical researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles studied the cases of hundreds of patients at 11 emergency rooms and trauma centers throughout the U.S. They found that less than half of all patients treated for concussion symptoms received education materials regarding how to care for their injury and what symptoms to watch out for in the future.
Hospitals called only about one-quarter of the patients to check up on them after two weeks.
Millions of traumatic brain injuries occur every year
The number of Americans suffering from head injury is staggering. Over 2 million patients seek emergency care for a head injury each year. Head injuries occur in car accidents, slip-and-falls, sports, playgrounds and any activity that may involve physical contact. Many of these injuries are called “mild” traumatic brain injuries.
Is there such a thing as a “mild” head injury?
The term “mild head injury” is misleading, as concussions and other head injuries can lead to emotional, mental and physical problems that linger. In some cases, a mild brain injury can lead to permanent damage.
Some patients who go to the ER for a head injury may fully recover. However, the more doctors and researchers are learning about head injury, the more it becomes clear that concussions and other head trauma do serious damage.
The authors of the study concluded that many patients studied did not get the right level of care for the severity of their injury.
Getting the right care is important
Head injuries are difficult to diagnose and treat. Often, patients have to take the initiative to make sure they are healing. As a personal injury law firm, our Los Angeles brain injury lawyers see first-hand the difficulty experienced by people suffering from a head injury. We encourage anyone who has suffered a head injury to do all they can to get the proper level of care.