Can New Tech Put an End to Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries?

When the average person hears the word “traumatic,” he or she probably conjures up images of devastating injuries – the kinds of injuries that lead to a lifetime on a ventilator, or early onset dementia. In the worst-case scenarios, this can absolutely happen. But many people who suffer what is deemed a mild traumatic brain injury can eventually heal; it just takes a while to determine whether that healing will be complete or not. These types of events are more common in athletes who play impact sports, though they can happen to anyone.

This is why “a group of anesthesiology, neurosurgery and internal medicine doctors” has created a device that, when “worn around the neck may reduce injuries from mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) during athletic events. The device reduces the brain’s movement inside the skull after a collision,” according to Anesthesiology News.

How it works

It is a simple-looking piece of technology; the prototype is a collar that decreases the amount of blood flow from the cranium into the jugular. This results in the cranium containing a higher volume of blood. That higher volume means that when a person is hit in the head, his or her brain does not move a lot within the skull – and it is that movement, that “sloshing,” as one doctor puts it, which is doing the most damage in cases of mild TBIs.

Is it available yet?

No, not yet. But the group has started its clinical human trials in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Two full manuscripts have been submitted, looking at hockey and football players and the types of injuries they receive. Based on this data, the group is moving forward with its trials. The neckband should be available for use by the end of 2016 or beginning of 2017, depending, one assumes, on the outcome of the trials.

The short and long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury are often as unique as the people who suffer with them. New science and research comes forward every day about the effects of head injuries and their correlation to CTE. This new project aims smaller, but the impact could be wider than we anticipate. After all, if a person who suffers “mild” brain injuries repeatedly could develop the same complications and side effects over time as a person who suffers one TBI, then this new collar could offer much greater protection. It also allows kids and adults to continue playing the sports and games they love in a safer way. We certainly hope that it does.

Crandall & Pera Law provides comprehensive representation for victims of traumatic brain injury in Ohio and Kentucky. To reserve a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, please contact us.