Accident survivors and athletes who receive concussions require immediate medical attention. It is common to test people for brain injuries upon arrival at hospitals and increasingly on the sidelines of sports games when concussions are suspected. One of the difficulties the medical community and researchers have grappled with is how to make these tests quick, cheap and accurate.
Researchers with Orlando Health, a group of hospitals in Central Florida, have found a way to detect concussions for up to seven days by using a blood test. Concussions cause the brain to release certain proteins into the bloodstream that are detectable through testing. This test was able to detect concussions with 97 percent accuracy in adults. In a prior study involving 153 children, this same blood test detected concussions with 94 percent accuracy in only six hours.
If doctors use super-accurate and expedient blood tests to diagnose patients, they can be given directions to improve their prognosis. Additional complications are always a risk after receiving a concussion.
Why Speed and Accuracy Are Important for Diagnosing Concussions
At hospitals, doctors may use CT scans, cognitive tests or lengthy observations to diagnose patients. In the event someone goes undiagnosed for several days after receiving a concussion, he or she can be at risk for further brain damage.
Second-impact syndrome is a rare-but-serious complication that involves receiving an additional concussion shortly after the first. This complication can cause severe brain damage or death.
Accurate and expedient tests can reduce the risk of further complications, making it more likely that people who suffer concussions can recover without significant impairments. Let’s hope this blood test becomes commonly used at hospitals around the country.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have two decades of experience helping brain injury survivors hurt by negligence.