Communication and Quality Care Are Key to Head Trauma Recovery

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Industry InformationOur System at Work

THE INJURY

Leonel is a 64-year-old truck driver for a Miami landscaping firm. As part of his duties, Leonel routinely loaded and unloaded plants from his truck. While standing on the truck bed during a delivery, something on his truck broke, causing Leonel to fall over the side and land head-first on the concrete. He suffered a serious head injury with internal bleeding and a temporal bone fracture.

A CRITICAL INJURY REQUIRES IMMEDIATE RESPONSE

According to the National Institutes of Health, a temporal bone fracture can result in damage to the brain, the middle and internal ear, and facial nerves. Complications can include intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral contusion, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage and meningitis, hearing loss, vertigo, and facial paralysis. To prevent these complications, diagnosis followed by appropriate medical and surgical management is critical.

COLLABORATION: SUPPORTING WORKER AND FAMILY

An ambulance immediately transported Leonel, who was conscious but very groggy and drowsy, to the emergency room and the intensive care unit (ICU) admitted him.

The employer reported his injury to their workers compensation insurer, Normandy Insurance Company, within hours of the accident. Due to the serious nature of the injury, they assigned a field claims adjuster and a nurse case manager. The nurse case manager reached out to Leonel's family members within hours of the injury.

The primary claims adjuster also contacted Leonel's family to provide support while the hospital was admitting him. Normandy felt it was very important to stay in touch every step of the way. The nurse case manager, who visited Leonel after he was admitted, provided the family with support over the phone every other day. A supervisor was also available to the family by mobile phone after hours and on the weekend.

WORKERS COMPENSATION ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS:

  • Employer reported the injury to the insurer immediately
  • The right staff, including a field claims adjuster and nurse case manager, were assigned and reached out to family members within hours of the injury
  • The insurer quickly approved two of the most qualified board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons for the employee's care
  • The nurse case manager communicated the status with the family and checked in with them every other day throughout the employee's hospital stay
  • The employer was extremely supportive throughout the recovery process and partnered well with their insurance company and Leonel's medical care providers
  • The employer provided extra accommodations upon the employee's return to work and supported him until he was ready to perform his regular duties

TOP QUALITY CARE AND CONCERN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Knowing the extent and seriousness of Leonel's injuries, Normandy authorized two of the most qualified board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons in Miami to provide timely and appropriate care and treatment. To ensure treatment was progressing well, the claims adjuster contacted Leonel after each medical appointment to evaluate his condition and discuss his progress.

It took about three months before Leonel could be released from care. Considering his age and severe injury, Normandy and his physicians considered this an outstanding result.

EMPLOYER SUPPORTS EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY FOR A SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO WORK

Leonel's employer was extremely supportive throughout his recovery and partnered well with the insurer and medical care providers. The employee's family felt very appreciative of the overall care that Normandy and the employer provided.

Leonel was also so appreciative of the care he received that it motivated him to return to work as soon as possible. To make a smooth transition, he completed a trial of full-duty work first, at the recommendation of his neurologist.

His employer acknowledged that Leonel had sustained a serious injury and helped support his return to work once his physician granted full-duty release. His work provided extra accommodations until Leonel felt fully comfortable performing his regular duties.

The outcome for Leonel was better than anyone could have imagined after such a serious injury. He returned to his job with great support from his employer and did not require any further treatment.