Medical Minute 4-2: Saving Brains. Saving Lives

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

Marc Baskett doesn't remember the head-on crash or his trip to the E.R., but he believes what doctors did in those first few hours saved him and his brain.

"On the Glasgow coma scale your brain normally activates at a 15, and being completely brain dead is a 3, and I was a 4, so I was almost completely gone," said Baskett.

Doctors treated Marc with an I-V infusion of the hormone progesterone. Researchers say if it's administered hours after injury, it can block damage to the brain tissue.

"Progesterone classically has been called a female hormone, but the reality is that it's actually a neurosteroid. It's made in the brain, by the brain, for the brain," said David W. Wright, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., Director Emergency Neurosciences at Emory University.

In a study of 100 traumatic brain injury patients, progesterone reduced mortality by 50% and reduced disability and improved functional outcomes in those with moderate injuries.

"For the first time really since recorded history from NIH, for the first time, we may actually have a drug that will work for traumatic brain injury," said Dr. Wright.

As for Marc...
"I forget things every now and then, but I've done that before and I think everybody does, but, my brain's 100%," he said.

A young man ready to put the past behind him and turn the page to a better life.

For more information: Ivanhoe Broadcast News2745 W. Fairbanks Ave.Winter Park, FL 32789 Melissa Medalie, Supervising Producer Medical Newsmmedalie@ivanhoe.comDirect Line: (407) 691-1516Viewer Line: (407) 740-0789 ext. 579

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