More than 100 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following Iran’s Jan. 8 ballistic missile attack on al-Asad airbase in Iraq.
According to the Pentagon, a total of 109 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with mild TBI — up from the 64 cases the Defense Department previously identified in its last update. So far, 76 of those troops have returned to duty.
“The Defense Department is steadfast in its efforts to deliver programs and services intended to lead to the best possible outcomes for our service members,” Pentagon spokesperson Alyssa Farah said in a statement Monday. Air Force Times
“We are grateful to the efforts of our medical professionals who have worked diligently to ensure the appropriate level of care for our service members, which has enabled nearly 70 percent of those diagnosed to return to duty,” she said. “We must continue to address physical and mental health together.”
After Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley provided a prior casualty report in January, Milley explained that Trump’s comments may have been a result of a Pentagon injury classification process that tends to label TBI related casualties as “Not Serious Injured” (NSI).
This does not surprise me, the military brass follow documents that were created back in World War 1, that is not to say all documents are that out dated but the medical ones are very out dated.
Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
Explosive blasts and other combat injuries. Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injury in active-duty military personnel. Although how the damage occurs isn’t yet well-understood, many researchers believe that the pressure wave passing through the brain significantly disrupts brain function.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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