International Day of Radiology: Reminding Us About the Importance of Treating TBIs
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This year’s focus on the International Day of Radiology is brain imaging. It is an important topic as stories about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) continue to dominate healthcare news, and for good reason.
We posted information earlier this year concerning how many TBI are occur in the U.S., as well as how many incidences there are among high school athletes. This high number among young athletes is particularly alarming since TBI experienced at a young age can have a lasting impact if not detected and treated immediately.
There are many TBI cases where a patient would not have long-lasting symptoms and life-long disabilities if the TBI was detected and treated sooner. TBI, while always serious, have different levels of severity. The Mayo Clinic defines a TBI occurring
“…when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object penetrating the skull, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.”
From a minor concussion, to blunt force trauma, a TBI must be treated with utmost care or else patients are at risk of experiencing prolonged health issues.
As shown in the infographic created by UPMC, the age groups that are most likely to sustain a TBI are children 0-4, adolescents 15-19, and adults 65 and older. The first two segments are particularly alarming, as TBI sustained in these age segments can have a lasting negative effect on person’s mental development.
Our infographic back in August highlighted the seriousness of TBI in high school sports. One source said that 1 in 10 high school athletes will suffer a concussion this year, and high school age athletes can take longer to recover, and may be more vulnerable to re-injury if they continue playing before full recovery. With 3% of those sustaining multiple concussions developing longterm brain damage, that amounts to an estimated total of 114,000 people with longterm brain damage as 3.8 million incidences of sports-related concussions occur every year.
At Carestream, we are working aggressively to do our part in the detection and treatment of TBI. We announced a partnership with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in October to collaborate on development of a new three-dimensional medical imaging system for extremity imaging. Our plan is to later expand this joint research project to focus on developing a CBCT system with image quality that is suitable for assessing and treating TBI, with the goal of aiding Carestream’s understanding of the use of advanced medical imaging technology in early detection and monitoring of TBI.
Diana L. Nole is the President of Carestream’s Digital Medical Solutions division.
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