According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency room doctors treat over 2.2 million Americans for traumatic brain injuries yearly. However, Pennsylvania readers may be surprised to learn that there is not a standardized approach in the emergency room for caring for TBI patients. Patients may receive different tests and treatments at different hospitals. Now, researchers are hoping to change that.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are launching a comprehensive study to identify the range of brain injuries that patients present with in the nation’s emergency rooms. Patients in the study will then be followed for up to a year post-injury. Using the data, researchers hope to develop a new standard approach for caring for TBI patients in the emergency room. The approach will include eye-tracking technology and blood-based biomarkers to test brain function. The study plans to also utilize cognitive evaluations and specialized imaging tests to detect concussions as early as possible, which leads to earlier treatments and better outcomes.

The research team plans to screen around 9,000 people for the project, including children and elderly patients. Of those, about 1,000 will be enrolled for the long-term study. If their recruitment plans are successful, it will be the largest single-center TBI study ever conducted in the U.S.

A brain injury could cause long-term medical issues, including memory, mood and behavioral problems. Pennsylvania residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury make seek legal counsel who may suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit. If the complaint is successful, the victim may be awarded financial damages, including medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Forbes, “Largest Single-Center Concussion Study Launched at Trauma Center in Minnesota,” Robert Glatter, March 11, 2016