Major trauma and urban cyclists: physiological status and injury profile.

Barts Health and St Paul’s skyline.

At the Barts Charity Seminar on the 31st January 2014 delegates were asked the following question:

“Can advances in medicine and research at Barts Health impact the number of killed or seriously injured people from cycling incidents?”

Personal safety is a common concern to all cyclists, especially whilst commuting through our city’s streets. What’s less common is the opportunity to meet and discuss public health and care of trauma patients with the surgeons, doctors and health professionals who look after us all. The delegation brought a wealth of knowledge, from injured cyclists describing their recoveries to the surgeons who operated on them. How individuals cope with accidents was one theme.

How patients get to A&E was also noted: people with seemingly minor injuries who can get there under their own steam often feel as though they aren’t as badly off as those who instinctively call an ambulance regardless of the their injuries. Their resulting diagnoses can also be affected, as patients occasionally shrug off symptoms which then go unnoticed. Brain injuries are a particularly significant aspect of this, as patients may struggle to communicate or underestimate the impact until much later (often a year or longer).

One crucial stage of the recovery process was compared to ‘falling off a cliff’. People who initially couldn’t wait to leave hospital find that going from twenty four hour care to zero is daunting. Similarly, the lack of a person to remain in contact with throughout the recovery process was cited as a major shortfall. The appointment during admission of a single person who a patient can contact throughout their recovery was recommended.

Several resources were shared, including data already collated by LCC which some delegates were not aware existed. Click on the links below to open the .pdf’s in a new window.

Delegate Pack
Major trauma and urban cyclists: physiological status and injury profile

Whilst some of the data in the .pdf’s makes for pretty tough reading, it was very reassuring to see the amount of effort which the attendees already go to in helping people recover from accidents.