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Device helps doctors to evaluate head injuries

The maker of the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing device has received permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the product in New Jersey and around the country. Designed as a diagnostic tool for health care workers, the ImPACT device or its pediatric version could be used to assess the cognitive function of head injury patients.

Brain injuries might impair word recognition, word memory or reaction time, and the device allows a clinician to measure these responses. The device compares the data for the patient to a control database containing appropriate ranges of responses by age. ImPACT testing could be effective for ages 12 to 59, and the pediatric version might identify concussion warning flags in young patients ages 5 to 11.

Concussions are classed as mild traumatic brain injuries, an injury category that accounts for over 2 million emergency room visit nationwide every year. Data analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that brain injuries play a role in over 50,000 deaths annually.

The prompt diagnosis of a brain injury could aid in the selection of appropriate treatments. Brain injuries can produce lingering problems for accident victims, and some of them are disabling. Although traumatic brain injuries are popularly associated with football and other contact sports, they can also result from a car collision or a sudden and unexpected fall. When the injury has been caused by the negligence of another party, an attorney could be of assistance to an injured victim in seeking compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.

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