Veteranclaims’s Blog

June 25, 2010

Pentagon Initiates Tracking of Blast Events and Soldiers Injured, TBI

Now if this information will be available to these injured soldiers and they will be able to make sure that the information is correct, then this will be useful.

Full Article at: Pentagon orders system to track soldiers for brain injuries

By Bob Brewin 06/25/2010

“Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn III issued a memo on Monday calling for the Defense Department to develop systems that would track soldiers who experience concussions on the battlefield and match them to specific events in combat in an effort to better treat them, a shortcoming that the department had been sharply criticized for not resolving.

Lynn’s memo, which was posted on Defense’s secret Internet website and provided to Nextgov, said it is now department policy to “identify, track and ensure the appropriate protection of service members exposed to concussive events, including blast events, to the maximum extent possible.”

Brain injuries, many of which are difficult to diagnose because they are caused by a concussive event such as a blast from an improvised electronic device, are one of the most common battlefield wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Army surgeon general, repeatedly has described blasts from improvised bombs as the signature weapon of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Air Force Col. Michael Jaffee, director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, said in April that Defense planned to create a single database that would merge information about specific operations on the battlefield with medical data. By matching the data, physicians could better identify soldiers who might be suffering from brain injuries, a diagnosis that has not always been properly made, critics say. The memo is the first indication that Defense is trying to better identify soldiers with brain injuries and immediately treat them.

The memo, “Policy Guidance for Management of Concussive/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in a Deployed Setting,” calls on the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury to conduct “comprehensive, retrospective analyses of relevant event-triggered data” and to develop summaries of specific monitoring of blast events.

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