A new policy aims to help soldiers minimize the effects mild traumatic brain injuries, or mTBI. The U.S. Army says that any soldier who sustains a direct blow to the head or loss of consciousness, or is within 50 meters of a blast must undergo a medical evaluation, followed by 24 hours of downtime and medical clearance before returning to duty.
The rule also applies to soldiers who are in a vehicle associated with a blast event, collision, or rollover, or in a building that has been damaged by a blast or accident. Comprehensive medical evaluations are mandatory for anyone sustaining three concussions within 12 months.
Mild traumatic brain injuries are more commonly known as concussions. Explosions on the battlefield often cause these injuries, but they also can occur through falls, sports injuries, auto accidents or any other event resulting in a blow to the head. Research shows that concussions are overwhelmingly treatable if prompt care is received.