HURLBURT FIELD, Fla., --
March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness month.
This month is recognized to bring awareness to TBI and make sure Airmen know the signs of mild to severe TBI.
“A Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction,” said Senior Airman Paul Cox, a mental health service specialist at the 1st Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron. “TBI usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.”
The most common form of TBI in the military is the concussion. More than 313,816 service members have been diagnosed with some form of TBI since 2000.
“Although TBI is considered the ‘signature injury’ of modern warfare, the vast majority of TBIs are mild and not combat related,” said Maj. (Dr.) Jeffrey McClean, TBI Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General. “Most TBI injuries occur as a result of more routine day-to-day activities, like sports injuries, falls, traffic accidents, or other risks.”
“Common signs of TBI are amnesia, inability to speak or understand, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking and understanding, inability to create new memories or inability to recognize common things,.” Cox said.
Traumatic Brain Injuries can be treated with medications or with a surgical procedure and rehabilitation. Treatment depends on the severity as no two injuries or brains are the same.
Traumatic Brain Injuries are referred to as an invisible injury because while a person may ‘look fine’ on the outside, the injury could be more severe than realized.
“We want to make sure all service members are aware of the common symptoms and signs of a TBI, so they can recognize it in themselves, their fellow Airmen or their families,” said McClean. “If someone may have a TBI, seek evaluation and treatment immediately from a medical professional. Most people, if they get the right treatment quickly, will fully recover from a concussion without any residual problems in a few weeks.”
For more information about TBI visit: https://health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Conditions-and-Treatments/Physical-Disability/Traumatic-Brain-Injury