People with serious head injuries should be taken to hospitals that have resuscitation equipment, a healthcare organisation has said.
Under current guidelines, patients with head injuries who require an ambulance are usually taken to the nearest hospital.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new draft guidelines saying that they should go to hospitals with the right equipment instead.
It also recommends that patients with life-threatening head injuries – such as a seizure, a fractured skull or loss of consciousness – should be given a CT brain scan within one hour of being admitted to hospital.
For less serious head injuries a CT brain scan should be carried out between four and eight hours after admittance, NICE said.
Mark Baker, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, said that the new draft guidelines reflect the changes in care within the NHS.
“Since we last published our head injury guideline, there have been new medical advances and developments in the way the NHS works – such as the 2012 introduction of regional trauma networks,” he said.
“Our guidelines must continue to reflect the best available, up-to-date evidence so as to demonstrate best practice to the NHS and to save lives.”
Cycling accidents on the rise
The recommendations come as it was revealed that accidents involving cyclists – many of whom suffer head injuries as a result – have reached their highest level for five years in Oxford.
A report by cyclist pressure group Cyclox has revealed that there has been 786 reported accidents in Oxford where cyclists have been injured, with one road in the city being branded one of the most dangerous in the country for cyclists.
Richard Mann, of Cyclox, said he welcomes the proposed investment of £965,000 to improve some of the most dangerous roads in the city to make them safer for cyclists and predstrians.
Expertise in head injury claims
Mark Lampkin, owner of Lampkin & Co said “The figures in the report from Oxford are reflected in towns and cities throughout the UK. We’re seeing an increase in cyclist accident claims, particularly with the recent warm weather encouraging people to get out and about on their bikes.“.