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Researchers developing tools to gauge chances of brain injuries

One of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States for the 15-to-34 age group is traumatic head injuries. The most frequent cause of brain injuries is motor vehicle collisions. As too many California residents have discovered firsthand, a serious brain injury can have life changing implications.

Two researchers are working on developing tools that could provide first responders with on-scene mobile applications that could determine the likelihood of victims suffering a traumatic head injury. They have conducted experiments using such information as speed at the time of the wreck, type of collision and even angle of impact to assess the effects of these collisions on the brain. Since an estimated 30% of injury-related deaths are due to brain injuries, the ability to quickly diagnosis and treat victims could improve their chances for survival.

Past research was conducted mainly by analyzing data collected through animal studies and injuries suffered by professional athletes. The new research has focused on combining data collected from crash test simulations and through the data available from the motions of a test crash dummy. By combining the two data sources, a computer can assess the factors and conclude whether a brain injury would be probable.

The computer model can analyze a crash when various factors are unavailable, such as the angle of the impact or details concerning the victim. The researchers are hoping to collect additional crash data supplied by Arizona's Department of Transportation. It is hoped that in the near future, there will be better tools readily available to reduce the impact that serious brain injuries will have on the lives of the victims and their families. California families who are struggling to cope with the aftermath of an accident that severely injured a loved one may be able to file a civil suit in order to seek relief from the financial pressures attributable to the negligence of another party.

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