Portable Scanner Detects Bleeding in or on the Brain After Head Injury
The FDA has approved a portable wand that uses Near-Infrared (NIR) technology to detect bleeding in or on the brain. The Infrascanner Model 2000 device runs on two “AA” batteries and looks like a TV remote. It is meant to be used in the field to assess the probability that a person needs an emergency CT scan of the brain or neurosurgery. The device works by being applied to the victim’s head and held there. It emits near-infared waves that spot differences in the density of brain tissue in 8 quadrants of the brain. If there is bleeding on or in a particular quadrant its density will differ because of the presence of free hemaglobin in the form of bleeding or a clot. It doesn’t take the place of CT scans, but can be used to monitor head trauma patients or assess people at the scene of an accident.