Life Saving Brain Scanners Debut at Exclusive Boxing Event in Malta.

Life Saving Brain Scanners Debut at Exclusive Boxing Event in Malta.

Damon Booth in action against Ireland’s Marty Kayes

Last Friday evening the cream of Maltese Glitterati descended on the Le Meridien Hotel in St Julian’s, Malta, for a rather exclusive Professional Boxing event, sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) in conjunction with the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC).

With tickets priced at almost ten times the normal for a boxing event in the Mediterranean haven, joining the rich and famous from the Islands were in excess of sixty international high rollers, each and every one of them attending to support Damon Booth as he made his professional boxing debut, against Ireland’s Marty Kayes, as well as to watch the highly decorated multi-World Champion Scott Dixon in action against England’s Will Cairns

However, those in attendance for the swanky event were totally unaware that in the background was an historic event also taking place, as for the first time on the Islands and only the second time ever at a professional boxing event anywhere in the World, the ground breaking hand held Infra-Scanners, that can detect bleeds to the brain of the combatants, were in action both pre and post fights.

The Infra-Scanners, that were successfully introduced by the BIBA just two weeks prior, at an event in Paisley Scotland, following a number of high profile life changing head injuries incidents at professional boxing events in the UK last year, most notably the death of Scottish Boxer Mike Towell, even though these tragic incidents were on events sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and not by themselves.

The Infra-Scanner is a hand held brain scanner that is designed to detect bleeding on the surface of the brain inside the skull, so epidural and subdural bleeds, which are the common bleeds associated with an impact to the head, ones that can commonly cause life changing injuries or in the worse case scenario, death, in a short space of time.

Within Boxing, the Infra-Scanner is not intended to replace an MRI scan, which is required annually for Professional Boxers, but allows Doctors at Ringside to undertake a two or three minute scan, to determine if as a result of the boxing match that a boxer may have sustained an epidural and subdural bleed to the head.

Should the scan produce a positive result this will enable the Ringside Doctors to ensure that the Boxer is admitted immediately to the nearest specialist unit, where the appropriate care can be undertaken.

Dr Mark Xuereb undertakes scan on Damon Booth post fight

Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) Chief Medical Officer and British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) Medical Advisory Committee Member Dr Mark Xuereb spoke briefly after the successful introduction of the Infra-Scanners at the special event.

“My comments as a Boxing Doctor for both the MBC & BIBA and having been in this profession for in excess of ten years, I can say I’ve seen a lot of boxers and sometimes as a clinician the team has a dilemma do you refer to hospital or don’t you, which is a crucially important decision because you are potentially toying with death.

Without wanting to dramatize, this is a fantastic tool, the Infra-Scanner is a crucial tool to aid in that decision process. It’s easy, it’s simple, any paramedic or doctor can be trained to use it and it helps with the triage system, which is crucially important decision, because we decide what is current urgent versus future important.

We have guidelines for head injuries charting, whether to refer or not refer, as always this will not replace clinical assessment, however shall we say it fortifies and confirms your clinical hunch.

So easy to use, perfect, would I use in the future, absolutely, the research results are undeniable, and it’s making waves all over the world, so I would really like to thank whoever invented it because it is really going to help us as health & safety in any sport is first and foremost, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, five stars and hopefully as it develops it will get smaller and lighter, although saying that must say it is already lightweight and reasonable in size, so brilliant all round.”

Billy Corito becomes the first Maltese Boxer to be scanned using the advanced technology hand held Infra-Scanner

Maltese Heavyweight Billy Corito, who had attended the event became the first Maltese boxer to be scanned, even though he wasn’t boxing on the event had this to say about the technological breakthrough.

“I was overwhelmed to be asked by Dr Xuereb to be the first Maltese boxer to have a Brain scan using the infra-scanner.

Could not believe this little remote looking device can save a boxers life! It was so quick and easy to detect if I have an injury or blood on my brain or anyone else’s.

It was over in just a couple of minutes, so just imagine if all boxing federations have one of these on every boxing event how quick lives would be saved.

As the saying goes, boxing saves lives, well now its Infra-scanners who are saving lives”

Dr Mark Xuereb scans Scott Dixon following his bout with Will Cairns

Scott Dixon, who was the actual first competitor to be scanned post fight at the event also spoke about the infra-scanners and the positive effect he believes having them ringside will have on the sport.

I think it’s an absolute revelation that BIBA have now bought in the head scanners to Malta, before and after every contest, this is the way forward, the only way forward.

There have been a few fatalities in the ring and most notably when I had my first fight on Friday the 13th October 1995 my best friend James Murray died in the boxing ring.

It took me a long time to get over that and I always hoped and wished that the rules would become more stringent. Back then it was British Boxing Board of Control, but hey now the British & Irish Boxing Authority are ruling the waves now with their pro-active approach to boxer safety.

BIBA make it their number one priority to look after the fighters and that’s the way it should be, their regulations are amazing, so I’m delighted to be a BIBA license holder and to be the first boxer to undertake a scan after my fight here in Malta, forget the rest BIBA’s the best.

I came to Malta eleven years ago and when I came here boxing was virtually nonexistent, they never knew a left hook from a fishhook, but now they’ve progressed and moved forward, so much so that having the scanners here are leading the charge in boxer safety.

Scott then went on to praise the BIBA on their professionalism with regard to another of their procedures, this time regarding dope tests, particularly due to an unsavory brush with the local doping authority, who not only failed to follow correct procedures at one of his previous fights that was sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Association (MBA), but then decided to charge him with failing to undertake a doping request, which is currently under appeal.

“I’m also delighted that tonight BIBA even regulated the doping screening, I volunteered to take the tests as they were going to pick them at random which is standard procedure, but I volunteered as I have nothing to hide.

The true procedure is that you are notified before that you will be subject to dope testing, obviously like I said, I volunteered, I done one test before the contest.

After my fight I was escorted, to the dressing room, by BIBA officials, to make sure there was no dodgy business, I went straight to the dressing room and was observed and did another doping test.

Obviously both were clear, as always, because I’m a professional athlete, I’ve been a professional 23 years now.

Now I’ve done thirty dope tests during my career in total, the correct procedure is you be notified and like I said BIBA followed the correct procedure and in an appropriate manner.

I’m so pleased to be part of this set-up, I mean listen there are so many cowboys in this sport, let’s be honest you have the MBA here in Malta for an example, so if you want to join a circus you go with them, if you want to be part of a truly professional set up you go with MBC or BIBA, as they look after the fighters safety first and foremost and that’s the only way forward and that’s why we’ve gone with the top of the chain.”

www.boxbiba.com

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Life Saving Infra-Scanners Introduced This Weekend at UK Boxing Events

Life Saving Infra-Scanners Introduced This Weekend at UK Boxing Events

Jonah Roche and Professor Michael Graham with Infra-Scanner

In February the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) announced that they were set to introduce hand held Infra-Scanners, that can detect Brain bleeds, ringside at events sanctioned by themselves in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, following a number of high profile head injuries incidents and the death of Scottish Boxer Mike Towell.

The Infra-Scanner is a hand held brain scanner that is designed to detect bleeding on the surface of the brain inside the skull, so epidural and subdural bleeds, which are the common bleeds associated with an impact to the head, ones that can commonly cause life changing injuries or in the worse case scenario, death, in a short space of time.

Within Boxing, the Infra-Scanner is not intended to replace an MRI scan, which is required annually for Professional Boxers, but allows Doctors at Ringside to undertake a two or three minute scan, to determine if as a result of the boxing match that a boxer may have sustained an epidural and subdural bleed to the head.

Should the scan produce a positive result this will enable the Ringside Doctors to ensure that the Boxer is admitted immediately to the nearest specialist unit, where the appropriate care can be undertaken.

Yesterday, InfraScan Inc. representative Jonah Roche, from SkillShop.Eu, travelled to the United Kingdom to deliver the first of the Infra-Scanners as well as undertake a training session for a number of the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) Ringside Doctors and affiliated Chief Paramedics, ahead of launching the use of the Infra-Scanners at an event in Paisley, Scotland this coming Saturday.

The British & Irish Boxing Authority had made the decision to introduce the potential life saving scanners following four major head injury incidents at events in the United Kingdom last year, even though these catastrophic injuries were sustained on events overseen by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and not on events sanctioned by them.

In January 2016, Tommy Martin suffered a bleed to the brain following the Commonwealth and WBC International Championship bout against John Wayne Hibbert.

In March 2016, Nick Blackwell was put in an induced coma due to a bleed in the skull following his British Title fight with Chris Eubank Jr, and once again in November following a sparring session.

In September 2016, Mike Towell suffered a bleed to the brain during the British Welterweight Championship Eliminator contest against Dale Evans and passed away shortly after due to the injury.

In November 2016, German based Kazakh Eduard Gutknecht collapsed in the dressing room following the WBA International Championship bout against George Groves and was rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery to relieve swelling on his brain and, whilst still in a coma, was transported to Germany in December.

In February this year BIBA Vice President Gianluca Di Caro wrote to BBBofC General Secretary Robert Smith, offering the use of the scanners for any boxer licensed by themselves, should they be suffering headaches or nausea following sparring or a contest, however this offer was refused and shortly after Mr Smith made the following statement to Boxing News Magazine.

“We’ve looked into it and we’re still looking into it,” Robert Smith tells Boxing News.

“We want to make sure they are accurate, and ensure the people using them are qualified to do so. We have asked many doctors, and received many opinions.

Ultimately, it seems it is too early to tell if this technology will be suitable for boxing. We will continue to look into the possibility of implementing them because safety has been paramount to us for many years, and will continue to be so.

“Nobody has said to me that this is definitely the way to go, because at this time, it’s just too early to say. In the future, after further research, they might be. It will be discussed in detail at our medical seminar in the summer.”

Chief Paramedic Martyn Morgan undertaking scan on Jonah Roche as Professor Michael Graham looks on.scanners

Following the introduction training course, Renowned Sports Forensic Scientist and BIBA Deputy Chief Medical Officer (D-CMO), Professor Michael Graham MBChB; JCPTGP; PhD; FRSM; MPhysoc; BASEM; MICR; MCSFS; PCCMH; APIL Expert; FSB, stated;

“The growing recognition of sports-related brain trauma creates an ideal application for the Infra-Scanner.

In contact sports like Boxing, Football, Karate, Mixed Martial Arts and Rugby, and others, the Infra-Scanner can provide field-based diagnosis and assist in the decision whether to evacuate an injured athlete to a hospital for immediate investigation and medical or surgical management.

The Infra-Scanner has been subject to a substantial number of Controlled Research Studies, around the World, and has already proven 80-100% selectivity and 90-100% specificity.

In addition there are over two hundred Infra-Scanners in use by the American Military, as this equipment was developed specifically for them for use in the field, as well is currently undergoing further trials at St Mary’s Hospital and The London Air Ambulance.

The Infra-Scanner is proven to accurately detect intracranial haematomas using the unique light-absorbing properties of haemoglobin, which is located within blood, and the non-invasive, non-ionizing nature of Near Infrared (NIR) technology.

Enormous advantages of the Infra-Scanner for speed of diagnosis are:

Portability, Infra-Scanners weighs just 400 grams.

Patient measurement is completed within 2-3 minutes.

The Infra-Scanner detects haematomas greater than 3.5 ml in volume, as well as detects haematomas up to 2.5 cm deep from the surface of the brain, or 3.5 cm from the skin.

I expect that such technologically advanced equipment will become mandatory at all public and private events, within a very short period of time.

Failure, by sporting organisations, to have the Infra-Scanner and personnel trained in its use will ultimately invalidate sporting licenses and insurances and result in enormous medical negligence claims.

Already it is clear in Boxing alone, that deaths from intracranial haemorrhages could have been prevented, if the Infra-Scanner had been present and used as a diagnostic tool.

As such we at the British & Irish Boxing Authority are extremely proud to introduce this technology at events sanctioned by ourselves, as we believe they will prevent future tragedies in the sport.”

The Infra-Scanners will be introduced Ringside at the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) sanctioned event promoted by Gerard Boyle-Welsh at the On-X Centre, in Paisley, Scotland this coming Saturday.

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Hand Held Infra-Scanners, That Detect Brain Bleeds, Introduced by BIBA For Professional Boxing Events In The United Kingdom.

 

Hand Held Infra-Scanners, That Detect Brain Bleeds, Introduced By BIBA For Professional Boxing Events In The United Kingdom.

 

The British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) are set to introduce hand held Infra-Scanners, that can detect Brain bleeds, at events sanctioned by themselves in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Sky News’ Health & Science Correspondent, Thomas Moore, highlighted the benefits of the use of the Infra-Scanners, that can detect brain bleeds with an accuracy of 90%, often before any symptoms such as headaches or confusion become apparent, following the death of Mike Towell last year at an event sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).

In the article Mr. Moore stated “Compulsory brain imaging using Infra-Scanners could be “massive” for boxers who risk death from professional competition.”

On announcing the introduction of Infra-Scanners, that will be available ringside at events sanctioned by them, BIBA Vice President Gianluca Di Caro said.

“We are extremely proud to be the first to introduce Infra-Scanners at events in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as we whole heartedly believe having them ringside will significantly prevent further tragedies within our sport.”

Before expanding further and explain what had led to the decision to introduce the use of Infra-Scanners at BIBA events;

“Following two major head injury incidents last year, one that resulted in the death of Mike Towell, even though neither were on events sanctioned by ourselves, the BIBA board had decided to actively seek solutions regarding improving the way that injuries such as these can be detected as quickly as possible. The first move we made was to appoint renowned forensic sports scientist Professor Michael Graham PhD to our Ringside Medical Officer & Medical Advisory Board.

Professor Graham led the esteemed team that produced the internationally published papers “Direct Hits to the Head During Amateur Boxing is Associated With a Rise in Serum Biomarkers For Brain Injury” & “Should an Increase in Cerebral Neurochemicals Following Head Kicks in Karate Influence Return to Play?”

Professor Graham and his esteemed team are currently researching the short-term and long-term effects of head injuries in Rugby as well as preparing, in conjunction with ourselves and a prestigious UK University, a long term research project to assess cognitive function following brain trauma.

Around the time of the appointment of Professor Graham, our CMO, Dr. Louise Eccles, proposed that we should investigate obtaining Infra-Scanners, as the use of these would massively assist in detecting problems such as a bleed on the brain quickly, especially as there is only a limited amount of time to assess the location of such an injury.

Following Louise’s advice, I contacted the manufacturers and am extremely proud to say that the initial trial unit will arrive later this month, hopefully in time for the 26th February event in Bradford, that features two ten round International contests.

We have initially ordered two Infra-Scanners which will be operated by Professor Graham and Dr Eccles at our events, and are aiming to order a further eight units over the coming twelve months, so that every BIBA Ringside Doctor will have an Infra-Scanner available by 2018.

Both the appointment of Professor Graham and the introduction of Infra-Scanners, are just two pro-active decisions made by ourselves with regard to Boxer Health & Safety, there are more to come, as Professor Graham and another of our Ringside Medical Officer & Medical Advisory Board, Dr Mark Xuereb have also proposed the introduction of further safety measures, one of which is the introduction of Cognitive Testing, which will come into force very soon.

We believe that Boxer Health & Safety is paramount, as such we will continue researching procedures that can assist us provide the very best medical evaluations possible.”

www.boxbiba.com

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