When it comes to the treatment of head injuries, it is crucial to get a diagnosis of the severity of the injury as fast as possible. This is what allows doctors to take swift action to mitigate potential life-threatening or altering ailments.
Saving every second counts when it comes to these issues. This highlights the importance of a recent study released by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which discusses a test that might determine brain injury severity in just 15 minutes.
GFAP and S100B
Medical Design & Outsourcing discusses a new potential diagnostic marker for head injuries. They discuss that doctors currently have no real way to determine with 100 percent accuracy the degree of severity of a victim’s brain injury. They often make educated guesses based on the presenting symptoms and decide how to treat the patient from there.
However, GFAP and S100B proteins end up released into the bloodstream after a traumatic brain injury, creating a potential marker for a test to pick up on. The FDA recently approved GFAP as a diagnostic marker, which doctors can use to decide if they need to give a patient a CT scan within 12 hours after a blow to the head. This could reduce unnecessary CT scans by upwards of 20 percent.
What the future holds
In the future, researchers aim to create a handheld device that can measure someone’s GFAP levels. This could allow for even faster results and diagnosis, which could greatly improve the survivability in dire situations such as mass tragedy events, natural disasters and other situations in which patients need immediate care.