Friday, September 15, 2006

Undiagnosed Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans

Service members injured during wartime who return stateside with a medical discharge and work to further themselves by attending college is not anything new. The current battle situation, however, involves innovations in battle armor which are much improved over past military incursions and the result is the potential for undiagnosed traumatic brain injuries.

According to an Associated Press article,
Brain Injuries are the Signature Wound of Iraq War.


The article indicates the person’s other, more obvious injuries may mask the symptoms of the TBI and preclude proper treatment.

“Doctors say traumatic brain injuries are the signature wound of the Iraq war, a byproduct of improved armor that allows troops to survive once-deadly attacks but does not fully protect against roadside explosives and suicide bombers.

So far, about 1,000 patients have been treated for the symptoms, which include slowed thinking, severe memory loss and problems with coordination and impulse control. Some doctors fear there may be thousands more active duty and discharged troops who are suffering undiagnosed.”

A related news article describes the situation getting worse as,Defense Department funding for its ten brain injury facilities is
being cut in half.

The reason for posting this information here on AccessAbility is to hopefully serve as a conductor of enlightenment, especially at those schools where a strong number of your population might be returning service members.

DSS Coordinators might want to evaluate your caseload and check for any clients who might be veterans fitting this profile. A follow-up could include an interview with any noted clients to discuss their diagnosis and ensure that it is proper. The ethical thing to do is to ensure that your clients are receiving the correct service from your office. Our veterans deserve this much consideration and then some.

1 comment:

Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA said...

Hi Ron,
I am interested in providing encouragement to our veterans and the soldiers who have been wounded while protecting our great country. Additionally, I am interested in providing practical information and insight to assist their families. My name is Craig J. Phillips. I am a traumatic brain injury survivor and a master’s level rehabilitation counselor. I sustained an open skull fracture with right frontal lobe damage and remained in a coma for 3 weeks at the age of 10 in August of 1967. I underwent brain and skull surgery after waking from the coma. Follow-up cognitive and psyche-social testing revealed that I would not be able to succeed beyond high school. In 1967 Neurological Rehabilitation was not available to me, so I had to teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. I completed high school on time and went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. For an in depth view of my process please read my post, http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/2007/02/18/my-journey-thus-far/

Through out my lifetime I developed strategies to overcome many obstacles and in so doing I have achieved far beyond all reasonable expectations. On February 6, 2007 at the encouragement of a friend I created Second Chance to Live. Second Chance to Live, which is located at http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com presents topics in such a way to encourage, motivate and empower the reader to live life on life’s terms. I believe our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I speak from my experience, strength and hope. As a professional, I provide information to encourage, motivate and empower both disabled and non-disabled individuals to not give up on their process.

Please encourage your readers to visit Second Chance to Live at http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com and consider adding Second Chance to Live to your web site as a useful resource and placing a notice in your newsletter.



Thank you for your time and kindness.

Have a simply phenomenal day!

Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
Second Chance to Live

Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up!