Traumatic Brain Injury Essay

649 Words3 Pages
With operations continuing in the Global War on Terror in both Afghanistan and Iraq, service members face many challenges on a day-to-day basis. Some soldiers have to deal with very high operation tempos that require them to be place in harm’s way on multiple occasions. During these sometimes highly risky missions, service members are subject to a multitude of injuries such as gunshot wounds, burns, and traumatic brain injuries. With the enemy’s high use of explosives on the battlefield, traumatic brain injuries in members of the Armed Forces have increased over the years. Being able to identify and treat the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury is paramount in maximizing the service member’s chance of returning to active duty. Blast injuries caused by “improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs, roadside bombs, and suicide car bombs, have caused over 60% of all American combat casualties in Iraq and 50% of combat casualties in Afghanistan” (Wilson). With this significant percentage of injuries in both theaters of combat, traumatic a brain injury is being deemed one of the more common injuries seen on the battlefield today. Blast injuries are broken down into three types, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary blast injuries are caused by the blast wave emitting an explosive force onto the casualty. The explosive force will accelerate objects such as fragments, shrapnel, and debris into the casualty, causing secondary injuries such as penetrating trauma. Lastly, being hurled into an object causes tertiary injuries and blunt force trauma. All three effects of blast injuries have minor to major effects of injury patterns on the casualty. Being more focused on brain injuries; primary, secondary, and tertiary blast effects can cause minor to major damage to the patient’s brain depending on the force of the explosion. With much emphasis on
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