Complex Trauma always has unpredictable consequences. Not only on the medical side but also on real life. It does not come as a surprise that medical staff does not have a lot of insight into the effect of complex injuries on day to day life, family life, partners, children, parents,...
We as medical professionals cover our professional part of care pretty well. But everything else is left to a particular patient, relatives, partners,...
From talking to patients on a long term treatment (more than a year) it became obvious to me that we do not know much about it. I just want to mention few examples.
How to manage day to day activities at home? And I do not mean simple tasks like going to the toilet, watching television, using computer,... I would like to focus more on interpersonal communication and even more how to manage with frustrations like slow progress of recovery, social contacts, mortgages,..
Complex injury will affect relationship irrespectively how strong it is. All the sudden people will feel "useless" particularly if they were providing for the family before the accident. Usually people are not able to express their frustrations when these arise but quite further down the line when some irreparable damage can be already done. We do try and provide psychological support but we do not know how successful it really is.
Patients with significant injuries find it increasingly stressful to engage with their social life as they had before. Particularly as they are bombarded with the same questions wherever they go. For example a patient with a frame on their leg has to explain numerous times how they feel, that it does(n't) hurt, how long the thing on their leg,... I can completely understand that it can be quite interesting to repeat the story a few times but then it becomes annoying. Very annoying. To the stage that patients will try and minimise any public contact. I can completely understand.
Any complex trauma can have detrimental effect on the family financials. There are not many people who can afford to stay away from the work for a year or even longer. Any uncertainty about the future is only making things worse. Can something be done to speed up the recovery? Can patient get more physiotherapy than standard NHS physiotherapy? What will happen to my mortgage? My family?
The one thing I can suggest is to get in touch with solicitors as soon as possible as they will be able to answer many of the questions. From my experiences solicitors will significantly improve and speed up the recovery. They will also be able to advise on your claim if appropriate.
If you have a private healthcare insurance or you can afford to pay for your treatment I would advise to discuss it first with your doctor. Certainly private treatment can help in speeding up certain procedures particularly in the current condition and strains the NHS is under. My advice for patients with complex trauma is to get stabilised in hospital you were admitted for your injuries. All further treatments or reconstructions can be considered to have it done on a private basis. Our two local private hospitals are Cambridge Spire Lea and Nuffield Health.
Can I please have comments from patients who had a complex injury in the past or are currently in the process of a treatment or recovery.