The number of U.S. soldiers coming home with brain injuries is staggering. Faced with this reality and the realization that not all scars obtained on the field are visible ones, the armed forces have scrambled to allocate the necessary resources to address this mounting issue.
In Afghanistan, at Camp Leatherneck, the U.S. Marine Corps recently opened the Concussion Restoration Care Center. Completely dedicated to soldiers who have suffered this sort of brain trauma, the center employs a number of specialists. These individuals come with a wide variety of skills catered towards both the physical and mental aspect of these brain injuries.
The concussion center is one of the first such installations, geared towards getting soldiers help sooner and closer to the combat zone. All too often, these brain injuries are not discovered until the individual returns home. By then, serious damage may already be done.
Speed is of the essence.
According to Gretel C. Kovach in the San Diego Union Tribune, this immediate care can allow soldiers to return to active duty sans many of the more serious symptoms associated with concussions. Said symptoms include dizziness and nausea.
While the Concussion Restoration Care Center has been immensely successful in rehabilitating injured soldiers, it is but one such outpost. It treats 30 patients a day, but there are thousands of troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The good news is that legislators in Washington and military officers recognize the need for more rehabilitative centers across both regions. Still, many soldiers have already returned home with injuries and many more will continue serving without adequate treatment.
- Marines put new focus on treating brain injuries (San Diego Union Tribune)