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Brain scanner to help save stroke victims in time

16th August 2005

A portable brain scanner could help stroke victims receive the treatment they require before they even reach hospital.

A team from University College London has received a grant from charity Action Medical Research to develop the scanner, which would use blue tooth technology.

The device would send images to a computer onboard an ambulance to allow paramedics to diagnose the cause of the patient's stroke or send it via the internet to the hospital for diagnosis.

Currently stroke patients have to wait until hospital for a scan, which can waste valuable time when dealing with a stroke situation.

Treatment for the condition depends on whether it is caused by a blood clot or a bleed, and blot clot drugs if administered can make a bleed worse.

The scanner would therefore enable ambulance officers to diagnose correctly and administer treatment before even reaching hospital facilities.

According to the Stroke Association around 130,000 people in England and Wales suffer a stroke each year.