mTBI: New Policies Require Medical Evaluation for All Concussions

What is it'

Explosions and blows to the head can disrupt brain function through mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), more commonly known as concussions. These injuries are treatable and most people who suffer concussions completely recover with no lasting effects, but the key is early detection and intervention.

What has the Army done'

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. recently dispatched a "CSA Sends" message to Army leaders reinforcing new policies, which require a medical exam and 24 hours of downtime for any Soldier who sustains a direct blow to the head or witnessed loss of consciousness, or is within 50 meters of a blast (inside or outside), or is in a vehicle associated with a blast event, collision, or rollover, or is dismounted within 50 meters of a blast, or is in a building or vehicle damaged by a blast/accident. Any Soldier who receives three concussions during 12 months must have a comprehensive medical evaluation.

What comes next'

A major objective of Army Medicine is to identify and implement the best methods to evaluate and treat every Soldier who has sustained a brain injury. A strategy of "Educate, Train, Treat and Track" ensures that Soldiers, leaders and health-care providers understand their roles in preventing TBI injuries and delivering the world's best TBI medical care. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Blast Injury Research Program manages research into blasts, many of which result in traumatic brain injury. Experts from the Department of Defense, other government agencies and civilian organizations combine efforts to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and care for those affected by TBI.

Why is this important to the Army'

Every effort must be made to preserve the Army's most valuable weapon - the Soldier. Early evaluation and 24 hours of downtime can avoid a mild traumatic brain injury casualty. Soldiers and their families avoid long-term medical issues, and units stay more fully manned and ready.


AKO log in required to search for the document under 2010 ALARCTs: ALARACT 193/2010 - HQDA EXORD 253-10, Management of Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Deployed Setting, DTG 260416Z Jun 10

STAND- TO! edition Feb. 26, 2010: Traumatic Brain Injury

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