Years of research by university personnel plus EMS and fire department testing have led to innovative, lifesaving treatment for people who suffer a traumatic brain injury.
The treatment is so effective that researchers believe it will be implemented worldwide within the next few years.
Car crashes and TBI
According to data compiled at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injury every year. Vehicle crashes are the cause of 14.3% of such injuries, or about 286,000 TBIs. The number may actually be much higher because symptoms often do not appear until hours or days after an accident.
Emergency medical personnel who respond to a crash scene have only minutes to help someone exhibiting signs of TBI before brain cells begin to die. The normal procedure is to hyperventilate the victim. However, research performed at the University of Arizona, Arizona Department of Health Services and tested by personnel at hundreds of Arizona fire departments and EMS agencies resulted in a different approach. Research found that hyperventilation causes a reduction in a patient’s internal carbon dioxide level, which, in turn, constricts the blood vessels in the brain. EMS personnel in Arizona now use breathing bags equipped with flashing lights. When the light on a bag flashes at a certain rate, it signals the need for the patient to immediately receive brain-cell-saving high-flow oxygen. In explaining this unique but simple procedure, a U. of A. doctor involved with the research opined that because of the “monumental” results, the new protocol will completely change the emergency care for brain injuries.
Until the new protocol becomes available to everyone everywhere, most accident victims who sustain TBI must depend on the outcome of current procedures. Patients with brain injuries also require rehabilitation, but still, some kind of physical, emotional or communication issue will remain, probably for life. People confronted with ongoing medical problems worry about the financial impact. If you are a member of this group, explore your legal options promptly. As the victim of a crash that resulted in your traumatic brain injury, you can expect full and fair compensation to include coverage for your current and future medical costs.