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Improvements in the Military's Treatment of Soldier TBI

Tuesday, April 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

Improvements in the detection and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) happen so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up. Researchers consistently study new technology, assessments, and drugs to make strides in this area. There are several great examples in the area of the military.

The causes of TBIs in soldiers are complex and include blast waves, which increase air pressure—and thus pressure inside the skull—substantially and quickly. As with TBIs suffered by members of the general public, the consequences can be deadly. Even when they are not fatal, blast waves may cause severe changes in nearly every area of a survivor’s life.

Significant advancements have been made in recent years, however. Two examples include the expansion of assessment techniques, as well as progress in the equipment design, such as helmets.

As Jennifer Bucholtz of American Military University reports, “[s]ince 2012, all service members preparing to deploy to a combat zone must undergo a pre-deployment” neurological exam. Upon return, members of the military who may have suffered TBIs are reassessed to provide solid information for medical providers to use in treatment.

In addition, soldiers in leadership positions now use an evaluation card designed to help them ask questions to evaluate whether injured soldiers might need care for potential TBI. This screening tool can help leaders in the field identify potential neurological problems that require further diagnosis or treatment.

Military equipment is also evolving. Helmets are now designed with greater coverage. Additionally, foam is being used to provide “a type of seal between the helmet and head” to “minimize[] potential injury from a blast wave.”

Sensors are also being inserted inside helmets to detect changes in the brain after a potential TBI event. These sensors can play a key role on the battlefield and in training to obtain information medical care providers can use to diagnose and treat TBIs in servicemembers.

If you or someone you love received a brain injury as the result of someone else's wrongful behavior, contact the Alexander Law Group, LLP today at 888.777.1776. We are a nationally-recognized and award-winning personal injury law firm with offices in San Jose and San Francisco, and we stay up-to-date on medical and legal developments in the area of brain injury.

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