Experts Call New TBI Test a "Game Changer"

January 14, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Woman in Yellow Sweater Covering Face With White TextileExperts are calling a new test for traumatic brain injury a ‘game-changer’. This is good news for the thousands of TBI-related hospitalizations in Ontario every year. A new handheld device developed by Abbott in the United States can detect the presence of a TBI in less than 15 minutes. This is a much shorter time period than now. Currently, a mix of subjective tests and imaging are used to attempt to confirm the presence of brain injury.

Dr. Beth McQuiston, M.D., R.D. is an expert in TBI, brain health and concussion. She leads the team which developed the recently FDA (America) approved iStat Alinity device. It is a blood test for the brain that can be performed bedside with rapid results providing a quantitative diagnosis for TBI. Clinicians and researchers have called this blood test for brain health groundbreaking.

TBI is usually caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body which results in the disruption of normal brain function. They can cause a wide variety of physical, emotional, cognitive, and sleep symptoms. Confusion, blurry vision, double vision, fogginess, memory loss, concentration difficulties, and insomnia are all common. Lack of impulse control and emotional volatility can also occur. TBI is a leading cause of death and disability in Canada,  and thousands are permanently impaired suffering post-concussion syndrome.

Until now getting a timely diagnosis has been very difficult. Currently, most physicians and healthcare workers rely on subjective self-reporting of many symptoms. Coaches use screening questions. Physical exams look at balance and cognitive ability. CT tests may be performed upon hospitalization. Many of the tests are observational and highly subjective relying on the expertise of the people administering them.

If adopted in Canada this new blood test will be able to quickly diagnose TBI allowing rapid triaging of patients. The test requires a blood sample drawn from the arm which testes for certain molecular markers in the blood which are released by the brain when it trauma has occurred. Time is saved in diagnosis which results in faster treatment and ultimately may result in saving lives, improving treatment and shortening stays in the emergency department. The test will also help to determine who needs further testing such as CTs. Avoiding unnecessary CT scans will save time, money, and prevent unnecessary radiation exposure for patients.

The new blood test should also help to catch previously undiagnosed TBI in patients. According to the CDC, it is estimated that about half of all concussions and TBI are not diagnosed in the emergency department. Identifying even minor concussions immediately can be life-altering or life saving for patients.

You can read more about the research behind the test here. If you have sufferred a TBI or been injured as a result of someone else's negligence contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Deutschmann Personal Law.
If you think that you or anyone else has suffered a TBI you should seek health care immediately. Time is of the essence.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, Personal Injury, Slip and Fall Injury, concussion

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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