TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES IN THE MILITARY
SSG Justin T. LaFountain
SFC Maradol Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the military are a tangible threat to the men and women of the United States military. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have created a spotlight on this injury, as the “signature injury”. Specific criteria makeup the definition of a TBI, which is certain symptoms and severity levels of those symptoms. Due to the capacity of this injury, the Department of Defense (DoD) and Congress have created mandates, along with treatment methods, and the ability to achieve an end goal of aiding an individual’s complete recovery.
TBI is a blow, jolt, or other injury to the head that disrupts the…show more content… Symptoms due to loss of sleep manifest as fatigue, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, easily tired and nightmares (Helms, 2014).
The leading cause of TBIs in military operations is blast waves (Carlson, 2010). The estimation is that 330,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have TBIs and up to ninety percent of these are cause by a blast or explosion. To break down these TBI levels of severity further, Hinds II (2016) states an estimated 82.4 percent are mild, 17.6 percent are moderate, and 8.5 percent are severe.
In 2006, the DoD mandated systematic screening, diagnosis, and care for individuals whom acquired a traumatic brain injury. Congress also mandated that military and Department of Veterans Affairs will screen all service members returning from combat (Jaffee, 2009). The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) took lead on this quest however; the operational requirements and capabilities of this center are the restricting factors of accomplishing this mandate. DVBIC developed and trained medical care personal with Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE) (Hinds II, 2016). MACE is a field expedient tool, with a 7-section exam, that gives military personal to quickly identify concussions anywhere in the world, which requires no special equipment to administer. The sections of the exam include: concussion screening, concussion screening results, cognitive exam,