If you receive a sudden blow to the head, your first reaction may be to seek emergency treatment. In some cases, patients wait days after a head injury to see their regular doctor, hoping the pain doesn’t get worse. But which health care provider is likely to give you the best treatment—the clinic or the ER?
Researchers at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Texas conducted a survey to find out how TBI patients would be treated immediately after suffering a head injury. The surveyors asked 22 healthcare providers in primary care settings and 16 doctors and staff in an emergency department about how they would respond to certain cases of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adults.
After hearing two different scenarios of how the trauma had presented, medical staff at Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center responded to how they would evaluate and treat these patients. The results revealed a few holes in the system when it comes to treating brain injury:
- Care providers relied on visual changes, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and neck pain as primary indicators of TBI.
- Emergency department staff were more likely to refer the patient to a specialist for further treatment.
- Clinic physicians were more likely than ER staff to schedule a follow-up appointment.
- Neither ER staff nor clinicians mentioned counseling patients on post-concussive symptoms, such as fatigue, emotional changes, or difficulty sleeping.
The study’s results suggest that many patients are released from care only to suffer emotional and cognitive problems later, possibly risking their future health. If you suffered complications from TBI, the Kentucky brain injury lawyers at Gray and White can help you seek justice—and we will charge you nothing unless we win your case. Call us today at (800) 634-8767 or click the contact link on this page to begin your FREE consultation.