U.S. Army Enters Fight …Against Traumatic Brain Injury

It was reported by the Army News Service on August 31, 2012 that the U.S. Army together with the National Football League will be joining to increase the research into the causes, prevention and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
An agreement was reached and signed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell  to continue sharing their resources to combat TBI.
Attending the event were soldiers and players who have had concussions during their service or games. Representatives of the medical corps and 200 cadets also participated.
Ironically it is the tough discipline and feeling of team over self that they are taught which prevents soldiers and players from disclosing that they were injured and from seeking help after a concussion.
These traits make it difficult for individuals to admit that they have a particular problem, especially mental.
Gen. Odierno stated that the goal of the new program is to educate the soldier and player to come forward and be educated that they have to seek treatment both on the battlefield and on the playing field.
The general discussed various examples of how dialogue and the sharing of research can monitor TBI. One of the methods is placing sensors in the helmets that are worn that can detect a concussion after a trauma to the head occurs.
NFL commissioner  Goodell told those assembled that basic cultures (of not disclosing concussions) have to change making players and soldiers share their experiences. The importance of disclosing the incident with officers higher in rank needs to take place without fear of retribution just because they disclosed what happened.
Some officers and players told about their personal experiences and how they were reluctant to seek help.
The NFL commissioner stated that not asking for help will no longer be tolerated. That there has to be accountability. That coaches and other players will no longer be able to make the decision. Only medical personnell will be allowed to judge whether a player or soldier can return to duty. Proper leadership and supervision includes allowing this to happen.
” Seeking help is playing smart.” he added.
Both officials said that enough progress hasn’t been made yet and more needs to be done.
There is an Army Directive that stipulates that soldiers have a minimum of 24 hours of downtime and need to get a medical clearance before returning to duty following a blast or vehicle incident.
Maj. Sarah Goldman, program director of Army Traumatic Brain Injury at the Office of the Surgeon General, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division, stated that more than 13,000 service members sustained some form of concussion since 2010 and 95 percent were returned to duty.
Odierno, admitted that when he played football he  would not have sought medical attention for a concussion. “I wouldn’t have taken myself out. Someone else would have had to.” He said that kind of thinking is wrong.
The general added that the army and players have to have a bond to take care of each other no matter what the rank.
When TBI occurs the best physical therapy solutions should be put in place. Currently that includes the TUTOR system.
Victims of brain injury and stroke can benefit greatly from the  Tutor system– the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and the 3DTUTOR. The Tutor system is being used successfully in leading U.S. and foreign hospitals and clinics and is also benefiting home care patients through the use of telerehabilitation.This ensures that the patient is motivated to do more practice between treatments by the therapists.
 The newly developed HANDTUTOR and its sister devices  have become a key system in neuromuscular rehabilitation and physical therapy for brain injury patients including, post stroke and TBI patients. These innovative physical therapy products implement an impairment based program with augmented feedback  that encourages intensive practice and motor learning through  active exercises. The exercises are challenging and motivating and allow for repetitive   training tailored to the patient’s performance , motor , sensory and cognitive movement ability. Customized simple and powerful rehabilitation software allows the physical and occupational therapist  the ability to adjust the program and exercise difficulty to the patient’s movement ability. The system also includes objective quantitative evaluations that allow the physiotherapist and his occupational therapist colleagues to report on the patient’s exercise progress.    The TUTOR system is suitable for children as well as adults.
See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.

 

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