A new study out of Australia indicates that brain injury patients who are put into a medically induced coma at the scene of the injury had a much better recovery rate than those who were put into a coma after they arrived at the hospital.

The study involved an analysis of more than 300 patients, and the findings have been published in the Annals of Surgery. As part of the study, approximately 200 intensive care paramedics were trained to administer anesthetics to induce a coma.  According to the researchers, patients who suffered brain injuries were either put through a medically induced coma by paramedics at the scene of the accident, or at the hospital after they arrived. The researchers found that in cases where paramedics induced a medical coma, the patient had a much more successful recovery and a favorable outcome.

Specifically, 51% of the patients who went into a medically induced coma at the scene of the accident were able to ultimately recover sufficiently enough to live independently. In comparison, just 39% of the cases where emergency doctors induced a coma after the patient arrived at the hospital showed a favorable outcome.

It’s been no surprise to brain injury attorneys that time is of the essence in such cases. This study seems to confirm this. It shows that when brain injury patients are put into a medically induced coma with the use of anesthetics, it eases pressure on the brain, and limits the extent of the injury. To maximize the effect of such treatments however, it is necessary that the procedure to induce a coma begins right at the scene of the accident.

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