Microwave helmet can diagnose a stroke
Swedish researchers have developed a helmet that uses microwaves to quickly determine if a patient has had a stroke. It can tell if there has been a bleed or a clot deep inside the brain.
When a person has a stroke, treatment has to occur quickly to limit any brain damage. But, typically it takes more than four hours to get to the hospital and begin treatment, at which point parts of the brain tissue may already be dying. The first step is for doctors to determine if a leaky blood vessel or a blood clot caused the stroke, which can be done with a CT scan, but there can be delays to getting this done. Any delay in treatment can hamper the patient’s recovery.
The helmet was developed to speed up this diagnostic process. Swedish scientists plan to give the helmet to ambulance crews to test after successful results in studies with 45 people.
Researchers say other diagnostic tools may still be needed, but that the helmet could be a portable, affordable tool to rapidly identify the type of stroke and get the patient treated faster.