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.
- 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.