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Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Major trauma safe summer 1

Salford Royal Major Trauma Team launches Safe Summer campaign

A young driver who was left completely blind after a head-on collision is supporting Salford Royal’s campaign for a safer summer.


Josh McEntee was 23 when he suffered life changing injuries in a head on collision. The classic Mini he had bought just four hours previously, had no air bags and both Josh and his cousin - who was a passenger in the car - took the full impact of the crash.


Josh’s 42-year-old cousin died in the crash and Josh was taken to Salford Royal’s Major Trauma Centre where he remained in a coma for five days.


Josh now features in a short video as part of the #SafeSummer campaign along with some of the many healthcare professionals involved in major trauma care at Salford Royal including emergency department clinicians, radiologists and rehabilitation therapists. The video appeals to everyone to think before taking risks so everyone can enjoy a super but safe summer.


During the summer months, admissions to Salford Royal’s major trauma unit increase with patients suffering life changing and often life threatening injuries.


As the weather improves and more people spend the days outside in the sun, the number of accidents involving alcohol consumption, road accidents and slips and trips begin to soar.


During the summer of 2018, there were 715 major trauma admissions in Salford compared with 591 in the winter.


In the past two years, more than 2,000 major trauma patients taken to Salford Royal suffered life changing brain and spinal injuries and more than 500 had serious limb and pelvic injuries needing extensive reconstruction or amputation.


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Major trauma Josh McEntee
Josh McEntee

When Josh woke from his coma he discovered he was completely blind and remained in hospital for three months.


“I went from having 20:20 vision to being in total darkness,” said Josh, who is now 26 and lives in Stockport.


“I had multiple injuries including two broken legs, broken eye sockets, broken nose and a brain injury.”


Investigations revealed Josh’s car had a mechanical fault, which caused the vehicle to veer into the lane of oncoming traffic.


Josh said: “The people in the other car were fine because they were in a modern car but because the Mini didn’t have any safety features, the steering wheel just hit me in the face.


“I’ve adapted my life and learned to live with no sight. You do feel vulnerable; it’s like going about your daily life blindfolded.”


Major trauma services in the region are provided via the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Network.


By taking patients with multiple, complex and serious major trauma injuries directly to a major trauma centre, they will be treated at a hospital designed for the definitive care of seriously-injured patients with immediate access to Consultant-led care and early CT scanning, which significantly improves patient outcomes.


Drinking alcohol can often lead to people taking more risks, which in some cases, ends with a trip to the major trauma centre at Salford – Greater Manchester’s principle receiving site for the region’s sickest patients.


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Major trauma safe summer 2

Sister Karen Higham-Deakin, Major Trauma Co-ordinator at Salford Royal, said: “People spend more time outside in the summer and unfortunately, we see all too often the devastating consequences of people taking risks that they wouldn’t usually take.


“We’ve seen many serious injuries caused by a bad fall on a trampoline and some patients have suffered serious spinal or neck injuries by slipping in a paddling pool while they are a bit tipsy.”


Major trauma is a life threatening or life changing serious physical injury, which typically involves more than one injury.


Josh, who now plays Paralympic team sport Goalball for Great Britain, added: “I fully support a safer summer campaign. If we can stop one person getting into a serious accident it’s well worth it.”


Stuart Wildman, Consultant Nurse in Major Trauma at Salford Royal, added: “Of course we want people to relax and have a good time but all we ask is that people take care and think before they act so we can all have a super, safe summer.”


On average, Salford Royal sees more male major trauma patients than female and in summer the average age is lower.


Falls from your own height are the biggest cause of major trauma injuries, followed by incidents involving vehicles and then assaults.

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Major trauma Stuart Wildman
Stuart Wildman