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Charity makes call for more patient information following a brain injury
As the brain injury charity Headway launches its annual Action for Brain Injury Week, new figures have been released showing that 92% of all hospitals in the UK are not providing patients with satisfactory written information following minor head injuries.
Research conducted by the Medical School at the University of Warwick show that just 21 of 254 A&E departments across the country provide minor head injury patients with the recommended information leaflets. Headway claims this lack of information could lead to serious health implications and potentially put lives at risk.
Deborah Johnson, a head injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP and secretary of Warrington Headway, said the figures were a stark reminder that people who suffer any form of head injury should be given quality written information when they leave hospital.
"Although patients may be given helpful advice verbally during a medical consultation it is often difficult for them to take on board what is being said at the time," said Deborah, a partner with Fentons. "It is very important that adequate and consistent written information is also supplied by the hospital."
According to Headway, an estimated one million people attend an A&E department in the UK following a head injury each year - with many more injuries going unreported and not assessed by medical professionals.
"It can sometimes take several hours or even days for the effects of a minor head injury to become apparent," said Deborah. "That's why even if an injury seemed innocuous at the time, it is vital to take each case seriously. Even a minor knock to the head can have major consequences and it is hugely important that patients leave hospital with high-quality, detailed information on the signs to look out for," she said.
The report also revealed that more than a third (35%) of A&E departments are not providing post-concussion syndrome (PCS) advice, as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). PCS can lead to fatigue, headaches and impaired concentration, which can have a detrimental effect on a person's quality of life.
"With such a huge number of people potentially affected, it is vital that every A&E department across the UK provides the information recommended by NICE to all head injury patients," said Deborah.
For further information about Headway and Action for Brain Injury Week, visit www.abiweek.org.uk.
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of serious head and braind injuries.
If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.
Source - Headway
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