Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force

Thursday September 29, 2011

What it is?

The Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, chartered the Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force (DCBI TF) in January 2011 to study the causes, prevention, protection, treatment, and long-term care options of warriors with multiple, complex injuries and their families. This self-assessment of the Army's healthcare system confirms that more severely injured Soldiers are surviving than ever before; that the number of these types of injuries is increasing; and identifies best practices, opportunities for intervention, and recommendations to address these complex injuries in a more systematic 'whole-person' approach.

What has the Army done?

This June 2011 report is the result of extensive partnering between Army Medicine, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and federal/ civilian experts. It identifies several best practices that are keeping wounded warriors alive, in spite of increasingly severe injuries, and outlines 92 recommendations, to include:

  1. More aggressively treating pain at the point of injury
    2) Adding advanced-level medical staff to evacuation platforms
  2. Placing urologists at combat support hospitals
    The Army has already implemented several recommendations, such as improved access to behavioral health experts, and improving pain management options.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

We will continue to improve our care for all beneficiaries by expanding collaborations with other DOD, VA, federal, and civilian healthcare experts. Task Force recommendations related to doctrine (e.g. facilitate electronic medical information exchange); organization (e.g. enlist command to capture pre-hospital data); training (e.g. increase trauma training for flight medics); materiel (e.g. improve IED detection devices); leadership (e.g. educate leaders on rehabilitation and reintegration of wounded soldiers); personnel (e.g. establish appropriate staffing ratios to care for DCBI patients, maintain long-term provider resiliency); facilities (e.g. update training centers to include the most current lessons learned); and contracting (e.g. to acquire specialized providers to meet DCBI patients' needs) will be implemented so we can continue to exceed patients' expectations of Army Medicine healthcare.

Why is this an important issue for the Army?

Warriors and families are bearing wars' heaviest burden, and they deserve the most innovative, world-class care possible. Although wounded warriors were the focus of this particular TF, our commitment applies to all beneficiaries who entrust their care to Army Medicine. We pledge to provide a partnership for care built on trust so that each and every Wounded Warrior can reach their maximum potential. Army Medicine. Bringing Value ... Inspiring Trust.

Resources:

MEDCOM web site

Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force Report

Army Medicine reports

The 'Scope' magazine provides a general overview of key Army Medicine initiatives

Warrior Transition Command's Wounded Warrior Program (AW2)

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Senior Leaders are Saying

"These are life-defining injuries for these warriors and their families, but it is not desperate. All of us in uniform understand it's not just about saving lives; it's about doing everything military medicine can do to help them lead full and productive lives."

- Brig. Gen. Joseph Caravalho Jr., commander of the Army's Northern Regional Medical Command, while detailing the Dismounted Complex Blast Injuries report's findings to reporters, reassured the service members of hope even after complex traumatic injuries.

Report examines lower-body blast injuries

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What They're Saying

"(It was) really moving to think that those buildings were there just 10 short years ago. We were really grateful to see the memorial because a lot of people come to West Point because of what happened on 9/11."

- Class of 2012 Cadet Kirby Kastner, participant at the 10th anniversary of the Tunnel to Towers Run, which this year saw nearly 30,000 runners and walkers including 1,800 cadets and 80 runners from the United States Military Academy Preparatory School

Record number of West Point cadets run Tunnel to Towers

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