In light of grosing evidence of susceptibility to increased brain injury after initial head trauma, the Pentagon is instituting new protocols for soldiers who may have suffered from traumatic brain injury (“TBI”). Troops caught near a roadside blast or in related vehicle crashes will be pulled out of combat for 24 hours and checked for a mild traumatic brain injury. This will be the case even if the soldiers appear unhurt or say they are fine, according to a treatment policy the Pentagon is planning to release. Because the brain is at greater risk for permanent injury right after such head trauma, giving thee soldiers time to recover, heal and get help is a smart move according to Herndon and Reston brain injury lawyer Doug Landau of ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd.
“The sooner you’re able to treat somebody and get it right, the higher the probability you’ll reduce the long-term impacts (of brain injury). So speed is really important here,” according to Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who pushed hard for the policy change. The policy change stems from growing concerns that troops suffer mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in combat – or more than one – and they go undetected, Mullen told USA TODAY. “We need to treat … more quickly and then we need to keep track of people,” he said. The new policy is a major expansion of battlefield medicine because it treats troops based on what happened to them, not just visible wounds, said Air Force Col. Jaffee, director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. For the rest of the USA Today story.