Lack of specialist care for head injuries costing lives

October 28, 2005

Researchers at The University of Manchester and Hope Hospital in Salford have discovered that head injury patients not treated in specialist brain surgery centres are at significantly greater risk of dying from their injuries.

In a study published today (28 October) in The Lancet which analysed 1989 - 2003 data from the national Trauma Audit and Research Network database, the team compared the death-rates of patients with head injuries with those of other types of emergency patients and assessed the impact of neurosurgical care on these rates.

The results indicated that patients with head injuries were ten times more likely to die, and generally had lower rates of improvement, than those with other types of injuries.

Dr Fiona Lecky of The University of Manchester said: "Mortality rates following head injury have not improved in England and Wales since 1994, and one possible reason is that not all severely head-injured patients are treated in a neurosurgical centres.

"We found that 33% of severely head-injured patients were treated entirely in non-neurosurgical centres, and that this was associated with a 23% increase in mortality. These patients had a 2.29 increase in the odds of death when compared to those treated at neurosurgical centres.

"Changes to NHS emergency-response systems since 1989 have clearly delivered greater benefits to patients without head injuries, and our findings support the Royal College of Surgeons' guidelines which suggest that treatment in a neurosurgical centre is an important strategy in the management of severe head injury. Unfortunately, the current lack of intensive care places in neurosurgical units means that this is often not possible."
-end-
The University of Manchester (www.manchester.ac.uk) was formed by the merger of The Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST in October 2004, and with over 36 000 students is the largest higher education institution in the country. Its Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences (www.mhs.manchester.ac.uk) is one of the largest in Europe, with a research income of over £37 million.

The School of Medicine (www.medicine.manchester.ac.uk) is the largest of the Faculty's five Schools, with 1300 staff, almost 2000 undergraduates and a £32M research income. The School is closely linked to five teaching hospitals and a range of general hospitals and community practices across the North West of England.

University of Manchester

Related Mortality Articles from Brightsurf:

Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

Mortality rate higher for US rural residents
A recent study by Syracuse University sociology professor Shannon Monnat shows that mortality rates are higher for U.S. working-age residents who live in rural areas instead of metro areas, and the gap is getting wider.

COVID-19, excess all-cause mortality in US, 18 comparison countries
COVID-19 deaths and excess all-cause mortality in the U.S. are compared with 18 countries with diverse COVID-19 responses in this study.

New analysis shows hydroxychloroquine does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and is associated with increased mortality when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin
A new meta-analysis of published studies into the drug hydroxychloroquine shows that it does not lower mortality in COVID-19 patients, and using it combined with the antibiotic azithromycin is associated with a 27% increased mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine reduces in-hospital COVID-19 mortality
An Italian observational study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine in the current pandemic.

What's the best way to estimate and track COVID-19 mortality?
When used correctly, the symptomatic case fatality ratio (sCFR) and the infection fatality ratio (IFR) are better measures by which to monitor COVID-19 epidemics than the commonly reported case fatality ratio (CFR), according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anthony Hauser of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues.

COVID-19: Bacteriophage could decrease mortality
Bacteriophage can reduce bacterial growth in the lungs, limiting fluid build-up.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

Highest mortality risks for poor and unemployed
Large dataset shows that income, work status and education have a clear influence on mortality in Germany.

Addressing causes of mortality in Zambia
Despite the fact that people in sub-Saharan Africa are now living longer than they did two decades ago, their average life expectancy remains below that of the rest of the world population.

Read More: Mortality News and Mortality Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.