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The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) reportedly unveiled a blood test to evaluate traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 15 minutes. The novel test is designed to evaluate mild TBIs with 95.8% sensitivity, and allows the injured person to receive the required treatment at the fastest time. It’s the world’s first blood test of its kind approved by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA).
The test requires a small blood sample drawn from the arm, from which plasma is extracted. It measures specific proteins present in the blood after a TBI. A spokesperson for MoHAP reportedly said the test will run on a handheld i-STAT Alinity platform.
A negative result on the test can be used to rule out the need for a head CT scan, a common tool used to diagnose a concussion. A positive result, it complements CT scans to help clinicians evaluate whether someone has a TBI. Moreover, the test the provides instant access to a patient’s clinical information and development of his or her medical condition to avoid unnecessary tests
Dr Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services (EHS), reportedly said the test is one of the most important diagnostic tests that can help in the evaluation and detection of mild brain injuries, which usually occurs after falling down or experiencing car accidents. He explained that this new technology will help clinicians assess and detect brain injuries and concussions as fast as possible with accurate results.
The new technology will reportedly aid patients in experiencing shorter hospitalization periods, which mitigates financial burden, and will also help save time in emergency units.
When it comes to TBIs, even a minor concussion can lead to permanent cognitive and behavioral issues. The most serious brain injuries can result in permanent physical disability, paralysis, and even death. Traumatic brain injuries have become a recent health crisis, and there are new federal and California laws in place to prevent such injuries. TBI has contributed to the deaths of more than one million people in the U.S. over the last two decades. The most recent TBI data available show that there were nearly 61,000 TBI-related deaths in 2019, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Moreover, a new study revealed that people of color have twice the risk of death after a traumatic brain injury than among whites.