On January 9, 2014, SFC Fluidics in Fayetteville acknowledged receipt of a $1.5 million federal grant to further develop its MD Analyzer diagnostic platform. The platform monitors those who are suffering from a traumatic brain injury and provides brain injury diagnostics every 10 minutes of the biochemicals that are subsequently released by affected brains.
The company also stated that the Phase II research grant provided by the National Institutes of Health would fund advanced developments of the platform. SFC Fluidics is a client firm of the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority and Innovate Arkansas and is a portfolio company of VIC Technology Venture Development.
The company is reportedly developing brain injury diagnostics to improve the monitoring and diagnosis of traumatic brain injury patients. According to a company news release, instruments include a 10-minute pinprick blood test for triage patients, and its product lines include drug delivery, analytical instrumentation and point-of-care brain injury diagnostics.
Additionally, the MS Analyzer platform will enable physicians to rapidly respond to any changes, accurately and closely track the progress of patients and improve short- and long-term clinical outcomes. SFC Fluidics has also recently completed a $1 million funding round from a private investor.
Recent Developments are Important for TBIs
Receiving a grant for the development of brain injury diagnostics is an important development, particularly considering how serious traumatic brain injuries are for both victims and their family members. Nearly 1.4 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year in the U.S., and many of these cases result in permanent or debilitating disabilities that require additional treatments and day-to-day care.
Currently, two percent of the U.S. population, or 5.3 million Americans, are currently living with disabilities that have resulted from traumatic brain injuries. Statistics show that the most common causes of head injuries include:
- Bicycle accidents (3%)
- Aggression or violence (11%)
- Being struck by an object (19%)
- Auto, motorcycle or truck accidents (20%)
- Falls on the playground, at home or at work (28%)
Brain injury diagnostics can provide valuable information about the cause and development of the injury itself. In many cases, symptoms of brain injuries are not readily apparent; rather, the patient may continue his or her day-to-day routine with little or no complaints of symptoms. However, signs of a traumatic brain injury that should be noted and reported to a physician immediately include:
- Nausea, headache, vomiting
- Changes in speech, slurred speech
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, difficulty balancing
- Ringing in the ears
- Sour or bad taste in the mouth
- Lack of coordination
- Blurred vision
If companies can continue to develop brain injury diagnostics and ways of evaluating those who have sustained injuries, physicians and the healthcare community may come to have a better understanding of these injuries and how they develop in patients, thus allowing doctors to provide quicker and more accurate care depending on the victim’s individual injury. In fact, diagnosing a mild traumatic brain injury often has to rely on subjective evaluations. A standard, objective screening tool could exponentially aid in diagnosis and with tracking recovery.
Additionally, some experts assert that diagnosing severe and moderate brain injuries is relatively easy; most patients suffer from a loss of consciousness. On the other hand, diagnosing a mild traumatic brain injury may be difficult as physicians or witnesses may not see the event happen. However, diagnostic procedures, platforms and questionnaires provided to the individual can help in the diagnosis. A more objective approach to identifying injuries can aid physicians in determining whether the victim has, in fact, suffered an injury and the treatment necessary to treat the injury.
Taking the guesswork out of diagnosing a mild traumatic brain injury or a concussion and providing a method by which to track the individual’s recovery can go a long way in the treatment and rehabilitation of injured patients. Still, those injured due to the fault of others may be entitled to seek financial compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses including additional treatments, therapies or the cost of day-to-day care.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a traumatic brain injury at the fault or negligence of another, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today to discuss your legal options.