According to Brain Injury Canada, approximately 160,000 Canadians suffer from brain injuries each year and that number is on the rise. That figure represents more than the combined number of Canadians who suffer from breast cancer, spinal cord injuries, HIV, and multiple sclerosis combined. As Edmonton personal injury lawyers, we have seen the effects of traumatic brain injuries on our clients and their families.
2 Types of Acquired Brain Injuries
There are 2 types of acquired brain injuries. These are brain injuries that happen after birth rather than ones that are genetic or congenital. One is a non-traumatic acquired brain injury that is caused by something that happens to the body itself or a substance introduced into the body. The other is the traumatic acquired brain injury. This is caused by something that is caused outside the body.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
The traumatic brain injuries we see in Canada, such as those caused by a blow, bump, or jolt from an outside source, are most commonly caused by:
● Car accidents
● Gunshot wounds
● Domestic violence
● Shaken baby syndrome
● Sports injuries
● Explosions or combat injuries
It has been found that nearly 30 percent of traumatic brain injuries are now suffered by children, typically as a result of sports and recreational activities.
These injuries often have a life-altering effect on the lives of both victims and their families. In fact, the government of Canada has called traumatic brain injuries our “invisible epidemic” and say that it is further challenged by the difficulty in getting accurate and timely diagnosis.
A New Blood Test to Detect Traumatic Brain Injuries
Fortunately, as of February of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the first ever blood test to evaluate brain injuries. Called the Brain Trauma Indicator, It was developed to assist doctors to quickly diagnose a concussion. It does this by measuring the levels of proteins released into the bloodstream within 12 hours of an injury. This will enable doctors to predict which patients may have intracranial lesions caused by an injury.
Needless CT Scans
Up until this point, doctors relied on the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale followed by a CT scan in order to look for lesions. Unfortunately, a great majority of patients have no detectable intracranial lesions after the CT scan has been administered and they have gone through the scan needlessly.
The Implications of this New Technology
Now, with the Brain Trauma Indicator, or BTI, doctors may be more able to predict the presence or absence of lesions with 99 percent accuracy if administered within 12 hours of the injury. This would reduce the need for CT scans for unaffected patients and the needless exposure to the radiation of the scan. Although the Brain Trauma Indicator is not sensitive enough to completely rule out concussions, it is an important diagnostic tool and can help to further the development of diagnostics for traumatic brain injury sufferers.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, you don’t have to face this alone. Contact our Edmonton injury lawyers at BPCAB Personal Injury Lawyer for a no-cost consultation to understand how we can help.