A road ambulance and an air ambulance alongside a hospital trolley illustrating our look at what major trauma actually means

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Nigel’s story of rehabilitation following major trauma injuries

Claire Roantree details Nigel’s story and how early rehabilitation helped him following major trauma injuries.

Nigel was hit by a van and suffered multiple injuries including severe fractures to both knees, multiple level spinal fractures, fracture to the right wrist, left elbow and left clavicle, and significant pelvic fractures. 

An air ambulance attended the accident and took him to a major trauma centre where he remained for two months before being transferred to a district hospital for ongoing rehabilitation.  He required bed rest for three months and operations to his left knee, right wrist and left elbow.  He suffered severe pain and stiffness in his hips, back, upper and lower limbs.  After prolonged bed rest he had widespread muscle wastage and deconditioning.  Nigel could not sit up in bed, move, or walk independently and was catheterised. 

He suffered from severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and had numerous nightmares and flashbacks as well as hallucinations from his medication.  He received little effective physiotherapy input and no psychological support.

As he could not walk, he could not be discharged home because he could not get upstairs to use the toilet.

A case manager was appointed by Nigel’s solicitor whilst he was in hospital.  The case manager recommended intensive rehabilitation at a rehabilitation unit specialising in treatment for complex MSK injuries.  However, due to the complexity of his injuries, he could not be transferred for rehabilitation until he was more mobile, which meant that he needed more intense and frequent physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support which the hospital staff struggled to provide due to lack of staff and resources.

A road ambulance and an air ambulance alongside a hospital trolley illustrating our look at what major trauma actually means
An air ambulance took Nigel to the nearest major trauma centre

Through Rehabilitation Code funding, private physiotherapists and occupational therapists were appointed to work alongside and supplement his NHS physiotherapy.  A private psychologist was appointed to visit him in hospital and provide much needed treatment to address his PTSD and anxiety, which were obstacles to his recovery.   

When he was discharged from hospital 5 months later, he could manage a few steps with a Zimmer frame and the assistance of nurses/carers.  He attended a rehabilitation unit for 16 weeks where he received intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support. 

When he left the rehabilitation unit, he was able to transfer from his bed to a standing position with assistance and he could walk 50 to 100 metres using a Zimmer frame. 

As his home was unsuitable his solicitor obtained an interim payment to enable the case manager to find alternative accommodation with a downstairs toilet and wet room.  He was still unable to toilet or shower independently and required carers to visit 3 times a day to help him get up, shower and dress. They also helped get him to medical appointments, take him shopping, prepare meals and refreshments and help with household activities. He required ongoing physiotherapy, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy as well as psychology support post-discharge, but he was able to go home due to improved mobility and independence achieved through specialist multi-disciplinary rehabilitation support. 

Without Rehabilitation Code funding and interim payments, he would not have benefitted from supplemental physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological input that enabled him to leave hospital and receive specialist treatment and support at a rehabilitation unit.  Without this treatment, it is likely that he would have remained in hospital without any meaningful progress for many more months and discharged to a residential care home for the elderly where he would have remained for the foreseeable future.

Why instruct Major Trauma Group?

Major Trauma Group is a network of specialist serious injury solicitors, rehabilitation clinicians and supporting services, with a proven record of successfully handling major trauma claims. From the initial meeting, our focus is on securing funding for our clients to receive the right rehabilitation at the right time to enable clients to make the best possible recovery and a return to their pre-incident lifestyle. We ensure clients have future care packages in place and can arrange adaptations to properties if required as part of the claim. We will also ensure that you are compensated for future losses such as loss of earnings or pension if they occur as a direct result of your injuries.

How Major Trauma Group can help

The Major Trauma Group is a not-for-profit community interest company made up from leading law firms across the country, who have come together, with clinicians, to assist those who have suffered major trauma, and their families on their recovery journey.  We can assist with legal advice on a range of topics including personal injury claims, Court of Protection, family and property matters, financial planning, welfare benefits check-ups, employment disputes and educational needs. Contact us for a free, no obligation chat: hello@majortraumagroup.co.uk

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