Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 29, 2010

Military Policy on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, mTBI, concussion

New policies on mTBI/concussion management
Written by LTG Eric B. Schoomaker, U.S. Army Surgeon General on 23-Jul-2010

In his message to commanders throughout the force to reinforce new policies designed to minimize the effects of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) GEN George W. Casey Jr., Chief of Staff of the Army said, We are completing our ninth year at war, and our force is stretched by the cumulative effects of the last nine years. Effectively managing our fighters is essential to our long-term success in this war. That is what this program is about.

These new policies require a medical exam and 24 hours of downtime for any Soldier who sustains a direct blow to the head or witnessed loss of consciousness, or is within 50 meters of a blast (inside or outside), or is in a vehicle associated with a blast event, collision, or rollover, or is dismounted within 50 meters of a blast, or is in a building or vehicle damaged by a blast/accident. Any Soldier who receives three concussions during 12 months must have a comprehensive medical evaluation.

Research shows that concussions are overwhelmingly treatable. Receiving prompt care, regardless of the severity of injury, is the key to regaining the highest functional level possible.

We must identify mTBI from the outset to be synonymous with concussion. The more often you can use these two terms together, the more we can drive home the point that ANY form of concussion needs to be treated in this fashion. Explosions on the battlefield often cause these injuries, but they also can occur through falls, sports injuries, auto accidents or any other event resulting in a blow to the head.

I want to thank Army leadership for their support of Army Medicine. It is everyone’s responsibility to understand and enforce these mTBI/concussion policies.

The full details of this program are in ALARACT 193/2010 -HQDA EXORD 253-10, Management of Concussions/Mild Traumatic Brain injury (mTBI) in the Deployed Setting, DTG 260416Z Jun 10 (https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/55028) on AKO.

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