The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced the development of databases that will be used to track brain injury cases. The databases will allow doctors and military officials to diagnose and treat injured soldiers from the battlefield to the hospital and back home. Adam Robinson, a Vice Admiral and the Navy’s surgeon general, announced the creation of a spreadsheet for the Marine Corps to report blast injuries. The announcement took place before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel on April 13, 2010, according to a Next Gov article.
After any head or blast injury takes place in combat zones, data on the soldier and the injury in question is entered into a permanent spreadsheet stored in the database to assist caregivers and military officials in better evaluating, treating, and following up with every soldier who has endured a potential brain injury, including those soldiers who may not have reported their own injuries to authorities.
The Marine Corps also announced plans for a non-medical database designed for field commanders to keep track of which troops have been exposed to concussions or explosive blasts. The Navy and Marine databases will be cross-referenced in the name of advancing research and improving treatment of traumatic brain injury, Commander Joseph Surette, spokesman for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery said in the article.
The databases come along with a shift in how the military handles brain injuries and potential injury incidents. Formerly, the Department of Defense relied on a self-reporting system for tracking injuries. Now, they have instituted an incident-based tracking system, the article said. Defense Department officials will announce new brain injury policy changes in the next few months.
The NFL has also added data to the pool for the advancement of brain injury research and treatment, Air Force Col. Michael Jaffee said. The Army is currently reviewing data gathered in over 600 blast events with sensors that were installed into the helmets of over 7,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from March 2008 to March 2009, the article reported. Data from those sensors will be compiled, analyzed, and the results presented to the Army officials sometime within the next month.
Brewin, Bob. (April 20, 2010) ‘Defense develops traumatic brain injury databases.’ Retrieved on April 21, 2010 from the Next Gov Web site:http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20100420_9199.php?oref=topstory