Tripler’s Brain Injury Clinic provides clients outpatient care

| March 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

TBI-poster
Emily Yeh

Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
HONOLULU — The month of March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and Tripler Army Medical Center’s Brain Injury Clinic has resources available for beneficiaries who suffer from brain injuries.

TAMC’s Brain Injury Clinic provides beneficiaries outpatient care focusing on education, consultation, rehabilitation, case management and behavioral health support. The clinic also offers limited-stay inpatient consultation to those who qualify.

Defining brain injuries
A brain injury can happen when any individual is struck, jarred or hit on the head hard enough that he loses consciousness, feels dazed or becomes disoriented. Brain injuries can happen anywhere, to anyone, and are not just combat-related.
In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1.3 million people in the United States visited an emergency department with a brain injury diagnosis as an outcome.

According to Dr. Michael King, clinical neuropsychologist, TAMC Brain Injury Clinic, “Brain injuries are classified according to their severity, usually based on how long the person was unconscious or disoriented after the injury.

“The majority of brain injuries involve less than 30 minutes of unconsciousness and less than 24 hours of disorientation. Moderate and severe injuries involve longer periods of unconsciousness and usually have more severe or debilitating consequences than mild injuries, up to and including death,” added King.

Brain injuries in the military
Between the years 2000 to 2015, the Defense and Veteran’s Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) reported that approximately 340,000 people in the armed forces suffered a traumatic brain injury. The majority of those injuries were considered mild in severity.

“For the past several years, the Department of Defense (DoD) and all branches of the armed forces have been very concerned about the impact of brain injury both on mission readiness and on the lives of individual service members and their families,” stated Dr. Greg Johnson, chief, TAMC Brain Injury Clinic.

“DoD has committed a great deal of time, energy and funding to improve education about brain injury, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for those who suffer from a brain injury. The DoD has also invested in research to find better ways of understanding brain injury and its effects, as well as improving treatment and rehabilitation of service members with a brain injury,” added Johnson.

Never take a brain injury, even a mild one, lightly. Seek medical care immediately, so medical personnel can rule out any dangerous warning signs and help patients understand how fast they can return to normal activity.

At TAMC’s Brain Injury Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of specialists work with patients to improve memory, thinking, hearing, balance, emotional changes, sleep, vision and to relieve headaches with the goal of improving function and reducing symptoms.

“Most brain injuries are of mild severity, and most people will recover fully from them within a couple of days with proper care,” stated Johnson. “A brief period of rest followed by gradual resumption of normal activities is usually the best care strategy. Follow the advice of your health care provider.”

More Online
For more information about brain injuries in the military, visit http://dvbic.dcoe.mil.

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