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When you go to the hospital you expect the doctors and nurses there to assess your situation and provide or refer you to the right treatment for your serious injury. But a new study casts doubt on that assumption.
According to the new study put out by the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 34% of major trauma patients were “undertriaged” in 2010. 40% of those were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury – the most common injury to be under-diagnosed and under-treated. That means that rather than being referred to level I or level II trauma centers, seriously injured patients are given less than the best treatment available for their injuries.
The prospects were particularly dire for the elderly. 54% of patients over age 85 were undertriaged. The number was still nearly half for patients ages 75-84. Even the least likely group (ages 18-54) were still undertriaged 22% of the time. That’s 1 in 5 working adults not getting the care they need.
So how can so many people be falling through the cracks? Huiyun Xiang, MD, PhD, MPH, the senior author of the study chalks it up to a number of factors:
With treatment numbers like these, patients and family members need to be their own best advocates. Treatment decisions are made on the way to the facility and quickly upon arrival. You need to know what to say to protect your loved one. After the initial triage stage, be sure to get a top medical and legal team to help you make the long term decisions and get the insurance company to cover your care. If you or someone you know was seriously injured in an auto accident, contact David Christensen of Christensen Law for a free consultation today.