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How a microwave helmet could lead to better brain injury outcomes

Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of all cases resulting in traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Some brain injuries result in hematoma, which is a pooling of blood outside the blood vessels that clots and leads to tissue damage. When a hematoma occurs in the brain, it can cause damage to the brain, and may even lead to death. To prevent the dire consequences that can result from a brain hematoma, surgery may be required to release pressure on the brain.

First responders can save lives and improve outcomes by knowing which hospitals offer the appropriate neurological services - including surgery if needed -- and calling ahead for trauma teams to be ready and waiting to perform tests that examine the structure and function of the brain for injury. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell right away whether a person has a hematoma after a brain injury. But an instrument normally used to detect strokes may be useful for determining whether a TBI patient has a hematoma and therefore needs to be transported to a hospital with the capacity to perform surgery.

The Strokefinder is a tool used to discern the life threatening differences between ischemic strokes -blood clotting or bleeding. This microwave helmet was built by Medfield Diagnostics and is being tested on people with chronic brain hematoma. If the helmet proves useful for recognizing hematoma, it could become an important tool for first responders. Because the helmet is small, it would fit in helicopters or ambulances, where EMTs could use it to determine which medical facility could best serve the patient. Because time is of the essence with brain injuries, it is hoped that this helmet could prevent unnecessary treatment delays that could result from a patient being taken to the wrong hospital.

If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, regardless of the prognosis, it's important to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can help secure the resources you need to achieve the fullest possible recovery.

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