Traumatic brain injuries can be dangerous, because secondary swelling restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to injured areas. Without these key elements, brain and nerve cells can sustain permanent damage.
Recently, the August issue of Neurosurgery published data from an experimental study about the effects of vacuum pressure on brain injuries. The results may prove that the controlled application of vacuum pressure helps limit tissue damage after a TBI.
During the study, doctors applied vacuum pressure over injured areas of the brain in a process called “mechanical tissue resuscitation.” Researchers have had good results with similar methods in rats.
This particular study was performed by inducing localized TBI in swine, then applying “negative pressure” over specific areas of the brain. Researchers experimented with the amount of pressure, the duration of the treatment and time delays after injury.
The results were promising. Three days of pressurized vacuum treatment led to smaller contusions and significantly reduced bleeding in the brain, compared to untreated injuries.
Data showed that small time delays made no difference. Subjects who were treated three hours after sustaining brain injuries received just as many benefits as those who were treated immediately.
When the treatments stopped after three days, half of the animals in the experiment died. After five days of treatment, all animals in the study survived.
Researchers are unclear why the vacuum pressure is so effective. Some speculate that mechanical tissue resuscitation may increase blood flow to injured tissue, promoting healing by increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients while aiding waste removal.
Since the treatment is “purely mechanical” rather than medicinal, scientists are hoping to use the process in conjunction with pharmaceutical remedies. The next step will be conducting limited trials on human subjects.
TBI victims can suffer permanent loss of certain physical, emotional and cognitive functions. As a result, they may require lifelong medical and assistive care.
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Metier Law Firm has years of experience defending TBI victims who were injured by negligence. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our licensed attorneys. A personal injury settlement could give you access to better care for your loved one.
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