During 2017, almost 550 people living in the Midland health region* were admitted to hospital with a traumatic brain injury. Of these, 66% were male, and about 25% were children aged under 15 years.
A severe traumatic brain injury causes a massive ripple effect to the individual’s life, the lives of their family/whānau and their community. Even mild concussion disrupts lives, schooling, work and relationships.
- The most common cause of traumatic brain injury was falls (37%); followed by road traffic crashes (19%), while other common causes were pushbikes, motorcycle crashes, and pedestrian injuries.
- Patients admitted to hospital with a traumatic brain injury spent on average 4.3 days in hospital, while some spent as much as 60 days. Seventy-six of these patients spent time in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
This week (11 – 15 March) is Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign which aims to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain Awareness Week also increases community awareness of the potential for improving the long-term health of the brain through lifestyle changes and risk-reduction strategies.
The Midland Trauma System (MTS) is a network of specialised clinical personnel committed to ensuring application of best practice in trauma care across the Midland health region. Its role in collecting and analysing data on traumatic brain injury can help identify risk areas and lead to awareness and prevention activities. It collects and manages the regional trauma database that records all admitted trauma across the Midland health region, including brain trauma.
And its message is clear:
We think that traumatic brain injuries are mostly preventable and we encourage all people in our communities to recognise risks and take care.
Another part of the role of the Midland Trauma System is ensuring the best clinical standard of care for trauma patients and their families.
Your trauma team at Waikato DHB is Grant Christey, Damien Ah Yen, Jenny Dorrian, Bronwyn Denize and Mary Jane Pacua. Feel free to contact them if you have any questions or if you would like to find out more about the Midland Trauma System visit our website www.midlandttrauma.nz
* Midland is the health region that covers five district health boards in the central North Island – Waikato, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty.