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Feature Article

Traumatic brain injury: the challenge of community management

Kath McCarthy

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Abstract

Improvements in both the retrieval of patients from accident scenes and neurosurgery have enabled many people to survive the immediate consequences of a traumatic brain injury. Survivors face the challenge of resuming a meaningful life for themselves and their family; their GP is often their most valuable resource.

Key Points

  • Continuity of care is one of the most important goals in managing a person with traumatic brain injury; GPs have a central role in managing these patients.
  • Following a traumatic brain injury, cognitive and behavioural deficits are more common, and often more disabling, than physical defects.
  • A patient’s psychological and behavioural changes after a traumatic brain injury may alienate family and friends; family support, education and counselling are vital.
  • Rehabilitation must be tailored to the individual and is as much a social as a medical process.

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