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18-year-olds life saved by pioneering treatment in Guernsey's Emergency Department -paper published in online medical journal

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Wednesday 29 March 2023

A Trauma Case Report has been published on detailing how 3 staff based in Guernsey saved the life of a then 18-year-old girl using a pioneering treatment under the direction of a Consultant Neurosurgeon based at the Wessex Neurological Centre.

The patient in question, Sophie Lundon (now aged 20) was admitted to hospital after a fall. She required treatment in the Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit for an extradural haematoma. This is a collection of blood that forms between the skull and the brain which can result in death if it remains untreated.

Given the immediate risk to life and the fact that any medivac via air ambulance or coastguard helicopter takes in the region of 2 hours to facilitate due to flight logistics, it was decided, under the direction of the neurosurgical centre to use a special needle to remove as much blood as possible before transferring Sophie to the UK hospital.

It is believed that this procedure, to drain an extradural haematoma using an intraosseous needle (IO needle), is the first time such a procedure has been used in a remote hospital in the UK followed by a full neurological recovery.

Aruni Sen, Lead Consultant, PEH Emergency Department, was asked to carry out the procedure due to his experience of using an IO needle for emergency resuscitation.

Aruni Sen said:

'This particular procedure has only been used in a few specialist centres in the UK and USA. We believe that this is the first time that such a procedure has been used in a remote hospital in UK in consultation with a neurosurgical centre in another location.

We saw immediate improvement once an initial amount of blood was removed which meant we could safely transfer Sophie to the UK for specialist care.

For the team, we were delighted that Sophie was able to come home (where we know people recover better) and return to life and work after around 2 months. Without this pioneering treatment the outcome would have likely been death or severe brain injury.'

Sophie Lundon said:

'I am delighted that Aruni and his colleagues have had this medical paper published. Their skills and expertise undoubtedly saved my life. As with any traumatic brain injury, I may look fit and healthy to anyone who sees me, but I am working hard with my family, friends, and the support of Headway, to live with the hidden impact of the injury and build a slightly different life for myself after the accident.'

Orla Marie Manning, Services Director of Headway said:

'Brain injury survivors and their families often struggle and talk of feeling 'lost and alone' when they are discharged from acute care to recover at home. Headway Guernsey charity supports over 80 islanders and their families to rebuild a life that has been shattered by a traumatic brain injury.

We don't just help people who have had a recent brain injury. If you, or a family or friend had a brain injury some time ago but feel more recently that you need some support, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a on Tel: 01481 252589, we may be able to help.'

The paper has been written by Aruni Sen, Nemer Kharroubi from HSC, Anthea Pinder from the Medical Specialist Group, and Jonathan Hempenstall from the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital. The paper is attached.


Drainage of an extradural haematoma by intraosseous needle in a remote hospital

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