Portable scanner provides faster treatment for stroke patients

university hospital StavangerThe new university hospital in Stavanger. Photo: Helse Stavanger

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A new portable brain scanner that will provide stroke patients with faster treatment is now being tested in a project led by Stavanger University Hospital (SUS).

The scanner has been used in some hospitals, offshore rescue helicopters and air ambulances, reports Stavanger Aftenblad.

Every year around 13,000 Norwegians suffer a stroke. In about 85 percent of cases, a stroke is caused by a blood clot but there may also be a cerebral haemorrhage. How the patient is affected can only be clarified by a scan via a CT machine and that is only done in hospitals.

“The treatment of blood clots and cerebral haemorrhage is quite different. Blood clots are treated with blood thinning medicine, popularly called Plumbo. But medication can have fatal consequences if the patient has a brain haemorrhage. Therefore, we cannot start treatment until a completely secure diagnosis has been made,” said professor and section chief Martin Kurz at Stavanger University Hospital.

SUS receives on average two to three patients with stroke symptoms every day and is now testing a portable brain scanner that can speed up treatment.

“The scanner allows treatment to start before transport to the hospital, and can be crucial to the patient’s future health,” explained Stian Bergby, a professional development nurse at SUS’s emergency department, to the newspaper.

Currently, the portable scanner is only used to collect data and is pending final approval from the Swedish Medicines Agency that will ensure that the scanner makes the correct diagnosis.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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