London, Mar 9 : A team of doctors at Southern General Hospital in Glasgow have developed a computerised system that can predict the chances of deterioration of a brain-injury patient's condition in advance.
This novel technique, called AVERT-IT, can help improve the recovery and survival rates of up to 2,000 brain-injury patients every year from falls and accidents that need specialist treatment in intensive care.
All the brain-injury patients suffer a common problem- a drop in blood pressure- leading to sluggish recovery and permanent brain damage such as severe memory loss in some cases.
Right now, what the medical staff needs to monitor patients' blood pressure and respond to changes for preventing any complications.
However, AVERT-IT automatically alerts staff to slight changes happening in the patient's blood, before a drop in blood pressure.
It makes use of the patient's own health information, like their age and details of the condition as well as data collected from their bedside monitoring equipment in the intensive care unit. In other words, the patient can be treated before their condition worsens.
According to Ian Piper, from the hospital's Department of Clinical Physics and Bioengineering, this sophisticated software may aid the staff for a more effective treatment of patients.
"Whenever a patient has suffered a traumatic brain injury they are connected to lots of high-tech medical equipment. These machines collect reams of data, and this can be used to anticipate when a patient may take a turn for the worse. By finding out if a patient is likely to deteriorate, we can intervene and hopefully avert any adverse incidents," the Scotsman quoted him, as saying.
He added: "Specifically, we're trying to predict when a patient might suffer a fall in blood pressure because that's something this kind of patient is particularly prone to. A fall in blood pressure can then leave the patient more vulnerable to serious subsequent problems."
"The AVERT-IT project has very real potential to help brain-injury patients at the most critical stage of their treatment, so I would like to congratulate staff on their hard work in securing this funding and wish them every success with this exciting initiative," said Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon.