The Army has issued new guidelines for traumatic brain injury care with the intention of catching and treating early symptoms. According to Kelly Kennedy, staff writer for ArmyTimes, this will also help catch soldiers who memorize the TBI tests in order to remain on the field by passing the concussion indicators test.
We have been learning a great deal more about TBI’s in the military as the Iraq war is sending home soldiers with all levels of brain injury. Concussions impair vital abilities such as concentration, memory, timing and marksmanship. These new guidelines require all soldiers who have been “involved in a blast, fall, vehicle crash or direct impact incident who lose consciousness or become dizzy afterward” to be seen by a doctor as soon as it’s possible.
This won’t prevent some soldiers from delaying their checkups, but at least it will still catch a significant portion of those with head injuries. While these guidelines increase the safety of soldiers returning to the field and those around them, they will also help to prevent some of the long-term effects that can become permanent with lack of care. Brain injuries can escalate from headaches and irritability to significant memory problems and even balance difficulties.
When prevention isn’t possible, immediate aftercare becomes crucial with a head injury.