Research Article

Head injuries in three Scottish neurosurgical units. Scottish head injury management study.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 20 October 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:955
  1. B Jennett,
  2. A Murray,
  3. J Carlin,
  4. M McKean,
  5. R MacMillan,
  6. I Strang


    The organisation of care for patients with head injuries in Scotland was investigated by studying retrospectively 785 patients admitted in 1974 and 1975 to neurosurgical units in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee. The reasons for the injuries and the patients' clinical conditions were similar in each unit. The referral practices at the hospitals containing the units were compared and found to be different from that of the unit in Edinburgh. It is concluded that patients in the Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Dundee units, which operate a similar policy for head-injured patients, are in general similar. Transferring to a neurosurgical unit only selected patients rather than all patients with head injuries is safe practice only if policies are agreed with primary surgeons and patients can be transferred without delay.