NICE issues set of guidelines around the care of seriously injured people.
The guidelines cover serious injuries including fractures, complex fractures,spinal injury assessment, major trauma and trauma services.
NICE estimates that some 5,400 people die each year as a result of trauma cases. They are the most common cause of death in people aged under 40 in the UK.
A report from the National Audit Office in 2010 concluded that there were inadequacies in the level of trauma care delivered in the UK.
Following the report a number of trauma networks were developed to ensure that seriously injured patients were taken to the most appropriate hospital for their needs as quickly as possible.
The variety in the trauma care offered across the country has been reduced since these regional networks were introduced and NICE estates that 600 extra lives have been saved.
The guidelines include information on the treatment of treating bleeding in trauma incidents. Research published in the British Journal of Surgery recently suggests that some patients who have suffered a life-threatening bleed when they have been seriously injured do not receive the optimal blood transfusion treatment.
The new guidelines included advise on the best ways to stop bleeding in a range of injures, and which are the most effective in different situations, for example at the site of an accident. Guidance is also included on the best ways to locate the site of a bleed so that surgeons can move quickly to stop it.
The suite of guidelines also gives advice on communication and support, and clarifies guidance on the identification and treatment of common fractures.
Serious injury lawyer Clare Campbell has acted for many clients who have suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries.
“Major trauma events affect thousands of people each year including those injured in serious car crashes. Many of these people have to live with life-changing injuries including amputation, brain damage and spinal injuries.
“It is welcome news to learn that changes to the way in which trauma patients are assessed and treated has led to many lives being saved.
“If a person has been seriously injured it is vital that they are rushed to the hospital where they will receive the best possible treatment as quickly as possible. These new guidelines will help with that process.”