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Unfallchirurg. 2015 Aug;118(8):693-700. doi: 10.1007/s00113-013-2549-0.

[Near-infrared spectroscopy for the detection of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage: Feasibility study in a German army field hospital in Afghanistan].

[Article in German]

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Klinik f├╝r Unfall-, Hand- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Universit├Ątsklinkum Giessen, Giessen, Deutschland.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common causes of death in ordinary accidents, natural disasters, or warfare. The gold standard for diagnosis of TBI is the CT scan; a delay of diagnostics or medical care is the strongest independent predictor of mortality of TBI patients--particularly in the case of a surgically treatable intracranial hematoma. The proper classification of these patients is of major importance in situations where a CT is not accessible. A portable screening device that uses near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology allows a preliminary estimate of an intracranial hematoma. This study assessing practicability shows that the use of the device in a military medical rescue center (Kunduz, Afghanistan) is easy to learn and can be repeatedly used even under emergency room conditions. The technique can be applied in penetrating and blunt TBIs in the absence of an immediately available CT scan in rural areas, preclinically, under mass casualty conditions (e.g., in disaster situations) as well as in humanitarian crises or war zones. Nevertheless, further studies to assess the validity of this device are necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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