Brain Injury Prompts Change on the Battlefield

Traumatic Brain Injury is a serious and occasionally devastating event that can change the course of person’s life forever. Concussions, though outwardly showing almost no symptoms, can be fierce catalysts for traumatic brain injuries.
Proffessional sports organizations have been forced to take precautions when players suffer concussions, and now, military forces will be forced to take those same precautions.

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This is an image of abnormal brain activity after a concussion. Red signals overactivity and blue signals underactivity.

Military Precautions Regarding Traumatic Brain Injury

A story done by NPR on Tuesday, October 12th, revealed that Mike Mullen, United States Navy Admiral and current Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered that soldiers near a bomb blast must be removed from battle for at least 24 hours, and must be checked for traumatic brain injury.

The reason being that energy and shockwaves from an explosion can reach the brain and cause damage, even if the head is totally intact. Concussions rarely leave visible symptoms, aside from dilated pupils. It is imperative that soldiers are checked for concussions, as they often cause fuzzy, slowed, or perhaps even irrational thinking.

Director of Brain Research at UCLA, David Hovda, explains why fuzzy thinking on the battlefield is dangerous:

If you’re going to call in a mortar strike, you have to do some fancy math and some really sophisticated calculations in your head, and you could create a problem if this isn’t done correctly.

Hovda also explains that after a concussion, the brain’s metabolism is slowed, leaving brain cells starved for energy. The risk of increased injury is greater when soldiers are allowed to return to the battlefield after sustaining a concussion.

During the time when this metabolism is altered,” Hovda says, “the brain not only is dysfunctional, but it’s also extremely vulnerable, so that if it’s exposed to another mild injury, which normally you’d be able to tolerate really well, now there can be long-term devastating consequences.

Traumatic Brain Injury Effects

Long term effects of multiple concussions are visible in many of the soldiers that have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few years. Jake Mathers, of Monroe, Louisianna, suffered a number of concussions while on a 7 month tour as a Marine in Iraq. All of the concussions came from bomb blasts that occured close to him. He was never physically injured, but he now finds that his memory has changed.

I’ll lose my pack of smokes like three or four times a day, and I’ll buy different packs of smokes ’cause I forget that I bought them,” he says. “Or sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and forget where I’m going or lose my car keys, cell phone.

Mathers also suffers from headaches, nightmares, and occasional insomnia.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at the Mininno Law Office

A traumatic brain injury can be life-altering, not only for the victim, but the victim’s family and friends as well. If you’re loved one suffered a traumatic brian injury due to the negligence of another, you’ll need to seek the assistance of a skilled and hard-working traumatic brain injury lawyer. The brain injury lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to fighting for those who have been wronged and earning them the compensation they will need and deserve.

Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Listen to NPR broadcast here