Inducing hypothermia may minimise the effects of head injuries

by JamesBooker on February 7, 2013

Inducing hypothermia may help head injury sufferers

The brain is a vital part of the body, responsible for a wide variety of different functions. Therefore, when a person suffers a head injury, the consequences can be absolutely devastating – and literally life-changing.

These individuals may lose certain sensations, movements, or be unable to speak. The effects of brain damage can also be deeply emotional, altering a sufferer’s personality, behaviour, and other cognitive abilities.

In January 2013, it was estimated that around 500,000 people living in the UK are rendered disabled due to a brain injury. Yet, this condition will not only affect them, but could also impact their friends and family members.

While no amount of money can every truly restore a sufferer’s pre-injury lifestyle, if they acquired their condition during an accident which was not their fault, they may be entitled to receive compensation through a head injury claim.

In the UK, brain injury solicitors recognise the importance of rehabilitation, support, and healthcare when resolving a claim – and will strive to obtain maximum compensation in order to make a sufferer’s lifestyle as comfortable as possible.

Although any funds awarded could make a real difference to an individual’s quality of life, a research team at the University of Edinburgh are trying to determine if inducing hypothermia among brain injury victims can prevent long-term effects.

According to STV news, within ten days of acquiring a traumatic head injury, the participants will be connected to “ice-cold” intravenous drips. Next, their body temperatures will be kept at a minimum of 32 degrees Celsius for no less than 48 hours.

Six months after the experiment, their conditions will be evaluated against those who were not exposed to this form of therapy. Potentially, this research could show that dramatically lowering body temperatures may minimise the long-term effects of brain damage – leading to a possible treatment.

Speaking to STV news, a spokesman from the university said, “Serious head injuries can have a devastating emotional and physical impact on the patient and their family.

“We are always trying to improve treatment for head injuries and by bringing together experts from around the world, we are hopeful that we will be able to make a real difference to patients’ survival and recovery.”

Although there are no reports as to when the researchers will publish their findings, it could certainly make interesting reading.




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