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New Methods to Detect Brain Injury Explained

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For the last several decades, doctors and hospitals have used a device called a pulse oximeter to measure the amount of oxygen in someone’s blood during medical procedures and surgeries. The purpose of this device is to ensure that while the patient is unresponsive due to anesthesia, he does not suffer a brain injury because of loss of oxygen in the blood. The pulse oximeter is a device that is placed on the patient’s finger and measures “systemic” blood oxygen to monitor brain function and prevent brain injury.

A new device has recently appeared in the medical community called a cerebral oximeter. The difference between a cerebral oximeter and a pulse oximeter is that the cerebral oximeter measures oxygen going to the brain itself, rather than “systemic” oxygen levels. This improves the medical community’s ability to prevent brain injury during medical procedures that require sedation or total anesthesia to the patient.
In a recent brain injury study which examined over 2,250 patients, it was found that the incidence of permanent brain injury on patients that were monitored with a cerebral oximeter was less than 1%. While the incidence of brain injury in patients in patients who were not monitored by cerebral oximeter was over 2%. This significant breakthrough bodes well for the further prevention of brain injury during medical procedures in the future.
If you, a friend or family member is about to undergo a surgical procedure, you should be sure to ask your doctor whether or not he has a cerebral oximeter available and insist that he put it to use for your benefit. If he says that he does not, you may wish to ask him if he knows any facilities where this new device is available.