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What should veterans know about traumatic brain injuries?

A traumatic brain injury can be a serious blow to the health and confidence of a veteran. He or she may struggle with memory loss and a reduction in overall functionality; these individuals may need medical help and assistance for several months or years to come. The severity of a TBI is one reason why veterans need to be checked for the injury and compensated fairly with their medical benefits.

The severity of a person's TBI can be determined at the time of the injury. For some soldiers, that may not be possible; they may have a short period of time to wait before a determination can be made, particularly due to the lack of medical facilities in the field. If the soldier can receive an immediate consult, then the length of time he or she was unconscious is one factor that can show how serious the injury is. If the individual is not responsive or has severe disorientation or memory loss, the injury may be worse than if he or she shows lesser signs of impairment.

What can cause a TBI?

In the field, things like explosives or car accidents can cause a military member to suffer a blow to the head and traumatic brain injury. Anyone who suffers a severe injury is typically taken off duty and may return home or to a veteran's hospital for treatment. There are treatments available, but the diagnosis of the condition needs to be made and handled correctly by the veteran's physicians. The individual should receive benefits that help cover the cost of the medical care he or she needs.

Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs, "Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury," accessed June 24, 2016

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Coon Rapids, MN 55448

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