What is major trauma?

Complex and serious injuries
A surgeon focusing on working on a major trauma patient illustrating the complexity and severity of major trauma

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Major trauma is any injury that has the potential to cause long-term disability or death. There are many causes of major trauma, including road traffic accidents, falls, stabbing and gunshot wounds. Injuries are severe and complex, often with multiple fractures, nerve and soft tissue damage and sometimes traumatic limb loss. Traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are specific types of major trauma. ​

What is a Major Trauma Centre?

A Major Trauma Centre (“MTC”) is a specialist hospital that is optimised to provide trauma care and can manage all types of injuries and severities. It provides all the major specialist services relevant to the care of those who have suffered injury or illness after an accident. These services include:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Vascular
  • Orthopaedic
  • Plastic
  • Spinal
  • Maxillofacial
  • Cardiothoracic
  • Critical care
  • Neurosurgery

There are 27 MTCs operating within NHS England. These are divided into three categories:

  • Adult and child.
  • Adult only.
  • Child only.

Each MTC is linked to a Trauma Network which includes all providers of trauma care, such as pre-hospital services, other hospitals receiving acute trauma admissions known as Trauma Units and rehabilitation services. The network has the relevant links for patients to receive social care and access to the voluntary/community sector.

Major trauma cases have more than doubled since 2010. There are over 19,000 cases admitted to MTCs in England each year, and with survival from major trauma increasing from 50% to 69% during the same period it is easy to see how important it is to gain access to the correct treatment, as quickly as possible, as there is now a greater number of people living with a disability caused by their injuries.

Who are the Major Trauma Group?

Whilst in a major trauma centre people will receive a significant amount of high level treatment and support during the acute phase of their recovery. Unfortunately once discharged the level of support that is available to people is much more variable. This can often result in someone being left to piece their life together in the community without much-needed support.

The Major Trauma Group is a collaboration between law firms and rehabilitation specialists that are committed to adopting a holistic approach to ensure that the needs of those are who have suffered major trauma are fully met including the following:

  • Enabling early access to rehabilitation to help improve outcomes, regain independence and return to function.
  • Ensuring access to specialist legal and financial advice at an early stage to deal with the complex issues that arise as a consequence of major trauma including issues surrounding legal claims, issues with respect to work and family life and advice with respect to benefits and care funding.
  • Helping to achieve financial security for the future.

Steps in the Rehabilitation Journey

A surgeon focusing on working on a major trauma patient illustrating the complexity and severity of major trauma

What is major trauma?

Major trauma is any injury that has the potential to cause long-term disability or death. There are many causes of major trauma, including road traffic accidents, falls, stabbing and gunshot wounds. Injuries are severe and

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The halls of a major trauma centre within hospital

Hospital Treatment

What is the process of treatment for a major trauma? The first phase of treatment following a major trauma is acute, ward-based, hospital care. On arrival at hospital, a patient will undergo an initial assessment

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A patient on crutches with a knee brace undergoing rehabilitation from major trauma injuries with the help of a rehabilitation specialist

Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation needs if you are suffering with severe illness or injury are documented in the rehabilitation prescription (“RP”). This identifies how these needs will be addressed. It is used to describe your physical, cognitive

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