Close this search box.

U.S. Army Innovates TBI Diagnosis with 15-Minute Blood Test

FORT DETRICK, Maryland — In a significant development for battlefield medical care, the U.S. Army has announced on April 4, 2024, the clearance of a bedside whole blood test by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that can rapidly assess traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The test, dubbed the i-STAT TBI cartridge, delivers results in approximately 15 minutes, eliminating the need to send samples to labs for analysis.

Highlighting the critical importance of timely TBI diagnosis for injured soldiers, Brig. Gen. Edward Bailey of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) emphasized the test’s potential to enhance frontline medical response. TBIs, he noted, are a significant concern for Warfighter health and readiness.

The i-STAT test operates by drawing a whole blood sample from the affected soldier, which is then inserted into a small cartridge and analyzed using a portable i-STAT instrument. This instrument measures the presence of specific biomarkers in the bloodstream that may indicate a brain injury.

Looking ahead, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bradley Dengler, Neurosurgical Consultant to the Office of the Surgeon General, emphasized the test’s role in prioritizing care for severely injured patients. By swiftly identifying blood biomarker elevations correlated with the severity of intracranial injuries, the test could facilitate faster access to neurosurgeons, ultimately saving lives on the battlefield.

Follow Us