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New product from San Diego company protects against brain injury

Imagine this: a victim is caught in a car crash and the impact causes her head to slam against the dashboard. This victim could be facing a serious brain injury, which won't be able to be treated until she can be transported to a hospital. Depending on how quickly emergency responders can react to the crash, hospitalized treatment might come too late to prevent permanent brain damage.

Now, imagine how different this scenario would be if emergency responders were able to limit the victim's chances of suffering serious brain damage directly at the scene of the accident. This unheard of medical advancement is exactly what the RhinoChill System promises to provide.

RhinoChill is a new product formed in partnership between Washington-based company Physio-Control and San-Diego based BeneChill. This radical new technology operates by sending a stream of liquid coolant up a victim's nose, thereby allowing doctors to cool a victim's body and slow the pace of his blood flow. In theory, slower blood flow will give responders valuable extra time to either treat their patients or transport them to a location where they can be treated.

Representatives of both Physio-Control and BeneChill are passionate about RhinoChill because they believe its portable design will allow paramedics to treat potential brain injury patients in environments where such treatment was previously considered impossible. BeneChill's CEO praises the product as something almost anyone can use, not just "a fancy doctor at a fancy hospital."

The RhinoChill System could also help treat stroke patients, victims of cardiac arrest, and patients in danger of bleeding to death at the scene of an accident or crime. Although the product is currently making its debut exclusively in Europe, its makers hope to bring RhinoChill to the US market pending future testing by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Source: Xcomony. "Physio-Control Cuts Deal with San Diego's BeneChill to Cool the Brain, Buy Time for Doctors." Luke Timmerman, 9 February 2011.

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