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Traumatic brain injury affects 45-90K troops

Posted by Charles II on March 8, 2009

Some of the symptoms are relatively mild– headaches or vision problems. Others are as severe as coma. It is Traumatic Brain Injury, and up to 90,000 young Americans who served in the military may have it.

Kelly Kennedy, Army Times:

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, said between 10 percent and 20 percent of soldiers and Marines – about 180,000 people – have screened positive for TBI.

Yet military doctors still fight a culture in which some troops believe they can head right back into the fight after being exposed to a blast – even though high school football players know better than to play again for a few days – and commanders may decide to risk sending someone outside the wire after an injury because there aren’t enough people to make up a patrol team.

Experts at the U.S. Military Academy have said it’s important for someone who has suffered even mild TBI to avoid the risk of re-injuring the brain – especially the not-yet-fully-grown brain of someone younger than 24 – because a second injury can lead to permanent damage or even death.

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