Every year, there are approximately 18,000 hospitalizations for traumatic brain injury in Canada.
These injuries occur from blows, bumps, and jolts to the head. They can lead to both temporary and long-term damage to the brain. Although there is a wide range of causes for traumatic brain injury, some of the most common include motor vehicle accidents and slip and fall accidents.
When a traumatic brain injury is the result of an accident, victims are entitled to compensation. But receiving a traumatic brain injury diagnosis can be a long and arduous process.
New technology developed by Abott might quickly change that fact. Already FDA approved for use in the US, this new traumatic brain injury detection device could help victims receive a diagnosis faster than ever before.
What Is a TBI?
About 2% of Canadians live with a traumatic brain injury, making it a leading cause of death and disability in this country.
Traumatic brain injuries result in damage to the brain. They come from outside of the body, typically from jolts, blows, and bumps to the head sustained during an accident. They cause disruption in normal brain function which can have physical, emotional, and cognitive repercussions.
Individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury may experience a variety of symptoms, including confusion, concentration difficulty, problems with vision, memory loss, emotional volatility, lack of impulse control, and insomnia. Of course, these symptoms greatly impact an individual’s ability to carry on with daily life.
Game-Changing TBI Detection Device
A new traumatic brain injury detection device is being called a “game-changer” by clinicians, researchers, and other brain experts. Developed by Abbott in the USA, this handheld blood test for brain health is a piece of groundbreaking technology that has the potential to help thousands of traumatic brain injury victims.
In developing this device, called the iStat Alinity device, Abbott worked closely with Dr. Beth McQuiston, M.D., R.D., who is an expert in traumatic brain injury, brain health, and concussion. It works through a blood sample drawn from the patient’s arm. That sample is then tested for certain molecular markers that the brain releases when trauma has occurred.
The results of the iStat Alinity test are rapid, which is what makes the device so important. It’s already FDA-approved in the US but has yet to be adopted in Canada.
Why Is This Important?
Receiving a timely diagnosis for a traumatic brain injury is crucial to the treatment and recovery of the victim. However, receiving that diagnosis is very difficult.
This is largely due to the testing process for traumatic brain injury. Currently, healthcare relies on a mix of observational and subjective testing for confirming the presence of a brain injury. Tests may include physical exams for cognitive ability and functions such as balance, self-reporting of symptoms through screening tests, and imaging tests such as CT scans. All of these tests rely on the expertise of the people administering and reading them.
The importance of Abott’s new device lies in how quickly it can determine whether a brain injury is present in an individual. The time between collecting the blood sample and receiving the results is less than 15 minutes.
This can reduce the time spent waiting in emergency departments and more rapid triaging of patients. It leads to faster treatment times and, as a result, more lives saved and a reduction in life-altering symptoms. It also helps healthcare workers avoid unnecessary CT scans, which means more time and money saved as well as preventing unnecessary radiation exposure. It may also help diagnose previously undiagnosed traumatic brain injury.
Have You Suffered a Head Injury in an Accident?
The iStat Alinity device is changing the way we diagnose brain injuries, but it has yet to be adopted in Canada. Until it’s approved for use here, victims of head injuries are still required to go through the arduous testing and screening processes currently in place. These can not only delay treatment, but they can also greatly affect recovery outcomes as well as your ability to access accident benefits.
If you or someone you love has suffered a head injury in an accident, you need someone to advocate for your treatment and recovery. Sharma Law is your advocate. Contact us today to find out more.