Page 184 - Faculty Handbook2

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Mental Health Concerns
Traumatic brain injury has been called the signature injury of
the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such injuries have been
caused in significant numbers from the use of improvised
explosive devices (IEDs). These weapons cause shockwaves
of extreme pressure that travel hundreds of yards out from
the blast. Helmets and body armor cannot always
sufficiently protect the body and brain. Therefore, soldiers
can acquire a brain injury in the absence of other injury. .
Troops are often exposed to such blasts multiple times,
creating a cumulative effect.
Among veterans of the Iraqi and Afghani conflicts:
The number of serious TBIs identified is 5 times greater
than the number of amputations.
A study of individuals seen at Walter Reed Army Medical
Center showed that 56% of TBIs were moderate or
Some of those walking away from IED blasts are now
experiencing symptoms such as memory loss, short
attention spans, headaches, confusion, anxiety,
depression, and irritability.
Veterans’ advocates believe that 150,000 to 300,000
(10% to 20%) of Iraqi veterans have sustained some level
of TBI.
The role of a faculty member is certainly not to diagnose a
traumatic brain injury; however faculty can be very helpful in