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A research team led by investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida has found that a small device worn on a patient’s brow can be useful in monitoring stroke patients in the hospital. The device measures blood oxygen, similar to a pulse oximeter, which is clipped onto a finger.

Their study, published in Neurosurgical Focus, suggests this tool, known as frontal near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), could offer hospital physicians a safe and cost-effective way to monitor patients who are being treated for a stroke, in real time.

“About one-third of stroke patients in the hospital suffer another stroke, and we have few options for constantly monitoring patients for such recurrences,” says the study’s senior investigator, neurocritical care specialist William Freeman, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic.

“This was a small pilot study initiated at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, but we plan to study this device more extensively and hope that this bedside tool offers significant benefit to patients by helping physicians detect strokes earlier and manage recovery better,” he says.

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