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Posts Tagged ‘mild traumatic brain injury’

It is not the typical 9-5, but I wanted to talk for a minute about occupational risks associated with combat service. Thankfully, the US mortality rate during OIF and OEF has not climbed over 0.42%.1 However, the number of soldiers wounded in action is relatively large comparatively at 2.3%.1 When the individual stories are counted, there’re over 23,000 wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.1  78% of these soldiers are affected by blast injuries caused by improvised explosive devices.2 The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that the odds of survival for a soldier wounded in action have increased from 76.4% in Vietnam to 90.4% during the Iraq and Afghanistan era due to improvements in both medical care and military equiptment.4 However, survival has not come at a small price: 70% of war wounds are musculoskeletal injuries; 55% of these are extremity wounds.4 Approximately 17% of our soldiers are affected by mild traumatic brain injury, and 12% suffer with mental health issues like post traumatic stress disorder.3 This makes .023 seem like a huge number.

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1.  Matthew S. Goldberg, PhD

Death and Injury Rates of U.S. Military Personnel in Iraq

MILITARY MEDICINE, Vol. 175, April 2010 4:220

2. Combat wounds in operation Iraqi Freedom and operation Enduring Freedom.

O J Trauma. 2008 Feb;64(2):295-9.wens BD, Kragh JF Jr, Wenke JC, Macaitis J, Wade CE, Holcomb JB.

4.  A brief background of combat injuries

Peter Pollack and Carolyn Rogers

http://www.aaos.org/news/bulletin/marapr07/research2.asp

3. Mild traumatic brain injury (concussion), posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in U.S. soldiers involved in combat deployments: association with postdeployment symptoms.

Wilk JE, Herrell RK, Wynn GH, Riviere LA, Hoge CW.

Psychosom Med. 2012 Apr;74(3):249-57. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

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