Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Joint Staff doctor explains TBI diagnosis procedures

An Airman searches for salvageable items after missile attacks at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 12, 2020. At a Pentagon news conference, Air Force Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff Surgeon, said 110 service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries from the attack. Most have returned to duty, while 25 returned to the United States for further treatment, he said, and six more are still undergoing testing. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Derek Mustard) An Airman searches for salvageable items after missile attacks at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Jan. 12, 2020. At a Pentagon news conference, Air Force Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff Surgeon, said 110 service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries from the attack. Most have returned to duty, while 25 returned to the United States for further treatment, he said, and six more are still undergoing testing. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Derek Mustard)

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

WASHINGTON — Traumatic brain injuries can't be quickly diagnosed – as was the case with the Iranian missile attack on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8, the Joint Staff surgeon said.

At a Pentagon news conference today, Air Force Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, the Joint Staff Surgeon, said 110 service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries from the attack. Most have returned to duty, while 25 returned to the United States for further treatment, he said, and six more are still undergoing testing.

Following an attack, commanders assess injuries, Friedrichs said, and in this case, no one immediately appeared to have had acute injuries. "No one lost a leg, no one lost an eye, no one lost a limb – which was remarkable given the strength of these munitions," the doctor said.

Therefore, he explained, reports went up the chain of command saying no one had an acute injury. But a TBI takes time to diagnose, and the process is involved. Protocols call for TBI testing of service members who were within 50 meters of an explosion, were exposed to a series of explosions, had a direct blow to the head, or who exhibit symptoms such as headache, dizziness, memory problems, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, difficulty concentrating, irritability and visual disturbance.

The tests take up to two days to complete. But service members may have TBI and feel they can power through and just go back to duty. They may have symptoms, but they don't go away and may get worse, Friedrichs said.

"A lot of people have said, 'Well, why didn't we immediately identify everybody with a traumatic brain injury?'" the general said. "[It's] because the signs sometimes are fairly nonspecific. And … even though we've trained everybody who deploys downrange on what to look for, it's quite common that we'll have folks who will say, 'I just was blasted. Of course, I'm not going to feel quite right. I'm going to ride this out for a few days.' Or 'I'm going to wait and see if this gets better.' And then they come in several days or weeks after the fact."

While there are tests that can point to TBI, some cases also require an MRI. The closest MRI testing facility to Iraq is in Germany, adding to the delay in diagnosis.

The department takes TBI extremely seriously, the doctor said, and has invested $1.5 billion in diagnosing and treating the condition. Test groups are wearing sensors to measure blast effects that could give medical professionals better information when making diagnoses, he noted.

"I think that's going to be really exciting going forward because that takes some of the subjectivity out," he said. "There is no military in the world that has invested as much or has fielded as many evidence-based tools as what we have right now."

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

TBI Champion Dalton Mask

Video
11/16/2020
TBI Champion Dalton Mask

Facing a long road to recovery following his TBI, Dalton remained positive and participated in the 2019 Warrior Games.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI Champion Beth King

Video
11/16/2020
TBI Champion Beth King

Army veteran Beth King was on a routine mission when her helicopter was struck by an RPG, ultimately resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this video, Beth shares the impact of her TBI and how she discovered her new passion along the way — recumbent biking.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury

Talking TBI: Connect with Others

Video
11/16/2020
Talking TBI: Connect with Others

Navy veteran Amanda Burrill and Army veteran Elana Duffy had a few things in common: They both lived in New York City, experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI) while in service and were coping with the injuries alone. Until they met each other.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Patient and Family Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury

How to develop a new relationship path after a TBI

Article
11/12/2020
A pair of hands clasped together

TBI can change the dynamics of a romantic relationship.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Progressive Return to Activity Clinical Support Tool Rehabilitation Providers

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical support tool for rehabilitation providers details the algorithmic approach for enabling service members to return to pre-injury activity after sustaining a concussion/mild TBI. The tool is designed as a pocket-sized reference card, and supports the Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild TBI Clinical Recommendation for Rehabilitation Providers

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity: Clinical Support Tool for Primary Care Managers

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical support tool for primary care providers details the algorithmic approach for enabling service members to return to pre-injury activity after sustaining a concussion/mTBI. The tool is designed as a pocket-sized reference card, and supports the Progressive Return to Activity Following Acute Concussion/Mild TBI Clinical Recommendation for Primary Care Managers.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Progressive Return to Activity Following Concussion/Mild TBI: Rehabilitation Provider

Publication
11/12/2020

This clinical recommendation for rehabilitation providers details the importance of aiding service members to progressively return to pre-injury activity and promotes the standardization of care following a concussion/mild TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

NICoE’s 3rd Annual Research Fair Focuses on the Future of TBI care

Article
10/28/2020
Man standing at podium next to American flag

[T]he event was intended to educate all attendees, no matter their scientific background.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

DVBIC blood plasma study assists in TBI and PTSD diagnosis

Article
10/8/2020
Air Force Senior Airman Kristen N. Kelsey, a medical laboratory technician with the 514th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Air Force Reserve Command, labels blood samples at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark Olsen)

Since 2000, more than 400,000 active-duty service members have been diagnosed with TBI

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

2019 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
9/30/2020

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Traumatic Brain Injury

2000-2019 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
9/30/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis from 2000-2019.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | Worldwide TBI Numbers | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Provider Resources

MACE 2 Provider Training Video

Video
9/29/2020
MACE 2 Provider Training Video

This video illustrates how to conduct a MACE 2 training event. This video supports the MACE 2 and its training materials created by the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury | Provider Resources

DVBIC study focuses on concussion-related headaches

Article
9/17/2020
Soldier (center) standing at attention receives an award pinned to their uniform, from a soldier standing directly before her, with a soldier standing at attention to one side. A long building is seen in the background with two flagpoles, one flying the US flag.

Service members with concussion-related headaches experience more frequent and severe pain compared to those with headaches unrelated to this condition.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Air Force opens Intrepid Spirit Center at Eglin AFB

Article
9/15/2020
Soldiers holding a long ribbon and cutting it

The EISC...recognizes the need for a medical facility dedicated to invisible wounds.

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury

2007 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 15

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.