Blood test for brain injury

Brain injuries cannot be diagnosed at an accident scene.  This because at the moment, medics need scanning to see inside the skull to detect brain injury or bleeding.  So people with a suspected brain injury are sent for scans in hospital, which fortunately often find no brain injury.  However if someone’s ‘knock’ to the head is not thought bad enough to require a brain scan, a brain injury can go undetected for many hours, by which time it can be too late for surgery to save their life.

Drop of blood

A simple blood test which could detect brain injury would potentially save medical costs and lives.  Especially if it detected brain injury in patients who looked and acted normally when assessed and also saved the need to scan other patients who appeared more injured, but actually had no brain injury.

According to press reports, researchers in Birmingham have achieved the first blood test for brain damage.  It looks for tiny amounts of chemicals produced when the brain is injured and in testing they have used blood from real patients.  Apparently test results accurately show which patients have brain damage and those who are fine. 

Currently, the prototype is too large to be used at an accident scene, so the plans that in 3 years this will be small enough and available to be carried on an ambulance or even used at the side of a sports pitch.

Blood test for brain injury

This simple test, if it is made widely available, will make a significant contribution to the early management of traumatic brain injury.  We hope that it is made available as soon as possible, to help save lives.  If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury caused by someone else and want to know how we can help, please contact Andy Shaw who is in the Headway Solicitor's Directory or call us on 0800 073 0988.

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