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New medical device may quickly diagnose brain bleeding

Each year, 2.5 million people go to the emergency room because they believe they have a head injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these injured people will undergo a CT scan. In over 90 percent of the scans, no injury is shown at a cost of about $1,200 each.

A new medical device approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can, with 87 percent accuracy, determine if a person who has suffered a head injury likely has bleeding in the brain. The handheld EEG device, which was featured in a clinical trial described in Academic Emergency Medicine, measures the amount of electrical activity in the brain. An algorithm is then used to determine if brain bleeding is likely in the patient. So far, the clinical trial has only studied the device's use in adults. It is not known how it would work with teenagers or children.

The device took eight years to develop by BrainScope Company Inc., which is located in Maryland. The goal is to assess how likely it is that a patient has bleeding of over one milliliter in the brain. If so, the medical personnel know that immediate evaluation is needed.

The researchers of the clinical trial recruited 720 adults that came to 11 ERs between Feb. 2015 and Dec. 2015. The device consists of a headset that records the EEG data on the forehead, which is then transferred to the handheld device. Other information, such as the patient's age and whether the patient lost consciousness, is entered into the handheld part of the device. Ninety-two percent or 144 of the patients were assessed as likely having bleeding on the brain. When CT scans were administered, 156 were determined to have brain bleeding.

While it is a good thing that medical devices such as this one are being used, many brain injuries should never have occurred in the first. If you have suffered a brain injury due to a negligent action by another person, you have a right to seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more through a civil lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide more information.

Source: Science Daily, "Quickly assessing brain bleeding in head injuries using new device," April 05, 2017

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