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Concussion Management (2010)

In 2010, Army Medicine implemented a new mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) management strategy to disseminate information that our healthcare workers needed and outlined the unit’s responsibilities, creating a partnership between the medical community and the line units.  This policy directed that any Soldier who sustained a mandatory reportable TBI exposure event must undergo a medical evaluation including a mandatory 24-hour downtime, followed by medical clearance before returning to duty.  The mandatory events are a command-directed evaluation for any Soldier who sustains a direct blow to the head, is in a vehicle/building associated with a blast event, collision or rollover, or is within 50 meters of a blast.

The Army and the DoD track these events to identify Soldiers at risk, to provide healthcare workers with situational awareness of an individuals’ history of proximity to blast events, and to provide documentation to support Line of Duty investigations for Army Reserve and National Guard.  From August to November 2010, the program documented 1,187 Soldiers exposed to mandatory reportable TBI events.

The Army has created 58 TBI programs since 2007 ranging from full TBI clinics at our large military treatment facilities to dedicated TBI case managers at our smallest facilities.  DoD-funded research has supported 250 studies regarding all aspects of TBI and added to the medical literature.

Since 2006, education and training efforts in the Army have led to increased awareness of TBI for the Soldier and increased screening for TBI by medical personnel.