A vet who suffered serious head injuries while examining a horse is backing a campaign to encourage her veterinary colleagues to wear safety helmets when handling equines.
Charlie Tomlinson, a clinical director at Hale Vets, in Wiltshire, admits she is lucky to be alive after a freak accident while nerve-blocking a horse’s front leg, which left her with devastating injuries and meant she couldn’t work for six months.
The horse, a quiet, well-behaved gelding, who was good to handle, reacted completely out of character and flung his front legs forward, scooping Charlie up and throwing her head first into a stable wall.
Charlie, who was not wearing a safety hat, suffered diffuse axonal injury, a traumatic brain injury, and was taken unconscious to Royal United Hospital in Bath.
The incident happened in 2009 but she is still feeling the after-effects as she lost hearing in her left ear, suffers from dizzy spells and memory loss.
Now she is supporting a campaign by VetPartners to encourage equine vets, nurses and all horse handlers to wear safety helmets. The veterinary group has provided all of its UK equine practices with hard hats for team members to wear when conducting certain procedures with equine patients.
The safety campaign, called ‘Hat Hair – Don’t Care’, has seen VetPartners team up with hat manufacturer Charles Owen to provide practices with hats and branded silks.