New Possible Testing Technique For TBI Diagnosis
Approximately 1.7 million individuals seek medical treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States, according to statistics published1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those victims, nearly 300,000 are admitted to the hospital for stabilization, treatment, and monitoring, while about 52,000 do not survive their injuries. Because TBI is such a significant health issue in the U.S., medical researchers are continuously seeking new information regarding the occurrence, the diagnosis, the treatment, and the prognosis involved with various degrees of brain injuries.
One particularly hot topic for brain injury researchers as of late is the ability to concretely diagnose a traumatic brain injury. The interest in this topic arises in part from the recent attention paid to the risks of TBI in sports, especially youth sports. If a TBI is not properly diagnosed in a timely fashion, an athlete may be sent back onto the field and risk subsequent brain damage and serious complications. One study recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma2 indicates that a new diagnostic method may assist medical professionals in quickly and properly diagnosing TBI.
Information on the study
In the past, CT scans and similar imaging tests have been conducted to identify TBI. However, while these tests can identify bleeding in the brain, they cannot reveal if there was injury to the brain cells without bleeding, which occurs in many TBI victims. The new study shows that a simple blood test may not only be able to diagnose brain cell damage but also indicate the extent of the damage so medical professionals will be able to prescribe proper treatment in a timely manner.
The blood test measures a protein referred to as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) within the first 24 hours of the head trauma. Patients with mild traumatic brain injury will have low levels of BDNF while patients with more severe brain damage will have significantly lower levels of the protein. These levels can be used to determine a particular patient’s prognosis and the extent of how the brain injury will affect them in the future in order to design a proper treatment plan.
How this can help TBI victims
In many situations, if a TBI is misdiagnosed or the severity is underestimated, a victim may struggle substantially with lingering effects of the improperly diagnosed TBI. With a more accurate test performed in the emergency room that can quickly determine the severity of their injury, TBI victims may better understand the lasting power of their injury and what to expect regarding the symptoms of the brain injury.
Additionally, if the TBI was caused by the negligence of another party, this type of test will help to concretely demonstrate the severity of the injury in a future legal claim for personal injury. Traumatic brain injuries commonly arise from accidents caused by negligence, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falling objects
- Sports injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Boat accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
If a brain injury victim files a claim for personal injury, a blood test indicating just how severe their TBI was can be used as important evidence to ensure that the victim receives the full amount of compensation they deserve.
Discuss a possible case with an experienced Clearwater brain injury lawyer
Though research to diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries is ever-improving, TBI victims still often have a long road to recovery and some face long-lasting or even permanent challenges in many aspects of their life. Victims may incur extensive medical bills all while losing income from missing work or having to resign from their jobs. If your TBI occurred because of the negligence of another party, you are entitled to recover from that party for all of your losses related to your brain injury. At the Dolman Law Group, our qualified brain injury attorneys have a thorough understanding of the nature and requirements of a brain injury case and have helped many victims obtain substantial compensation. Please call our office in Clearwater at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation to discuss a potential legal claim.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756