Health & Safety

March 1, 2013

RWBAHC offers TBI treatment

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, has been called the “signature injury” of more than 11 years of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Injuries Soldiers receive downrange can originate from improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, gun blasts, accidents, and equipment failure. Many service members have experienced multiple deployments due to the length of war, translating into multiple exposures to potential TBI events.

Fort Huachuca is home to a Level 4 TBI Program, providing outpatient care to Soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions. Dr. Richard LaMacchia, a neuropsychologist; Tracey-Jean Santoro, psychology technician; and Renate Schmitt, occupational therapist, are part of RWBAHC’s TBI team.

To promote recovery, the team’s mission is to assess and evaluate physical, cognitive and emotional or behavioral symptoms to optimize care, improve outcomes and reduce disability through a patient-centered approach. Referrals to the TBI unit are given to service members who meet certain criteria. To obtain an accurate medical history, the team reviews the service member’s medical history; details the injury event(s); and screens for preexisting or co-occurring conditions and psychosocial risk factors.

While a few Soldiers are immediately referred to the TBI program after a potential brain injury, most obtain referrals after having experienced a TBI injury in the past. Typical symptoms include headaches, short-term memory problems, irritability, difficulty sleeping, balance issues, vision, hearing or cognitive issues, and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

As soon as possible, the TBI team develops an individual care plan for each Soldier, unique to their injuries, to ensure timely, quality care. Members do this by assessing, re-evaluating, educating and removing barriers in the medical and behavioral health community. The process includes empathy, competence, dedication, honesty and commitment to the service member.

The TBI team assists with referrals and appointments, follows up on test results, communicates with various healthcare providers, and monitors each Soldier’s progress in reaching their care-plan goals.

The time it takes to achieve established goals varies; it may take a few months or a long period of time. Goals typically include headache frequency and intensity reduction; onset and length-of-sleep improvement; improvement in short-term memory, balance and vision; and reduction of PTSD symptoms.

The TBI team works with a variety of disciplines within RWBAHC and the local community. These include physical therapy, optometry, psychology, neurology and sleep labs. The TBI team tracks office visit notes and testing results. They share these with other RWBAHC team members and the Soldier’s primary care and case managers.

Soldiers who do not respond to treatment can be referred to inpatient programs elsewhere. One option is the 72,000 square-foot National Intrepid Center of Excellence, or NICoE, in Bethesda, Md. The staff is considered a world leader in treatment of psychological heath issues and traumatic brain injuries.

The TBI team at Fort Huachuca coordinates the Soldier’s NICoE referral and placement. Its members communicate with providers at NICoE during the Soldier’s 20-business-day stay and participate in the multidisciplinary discharge meeting, helping to coordinate needs of the returning Soldier.

The RWBAHC TBI team is available Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, see your primary care provider or call 533.5161.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
fire-pic

Arrival of monsoon signals easing of fire restrictions in Southeast Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. – Effective July 11, the Bureau of Land Management Gila District, all districts of the Coronado National Forest, Saguaro National Park, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua...
 
 

Monsoon start means break from hot weather — keep safety in mind this summer

In Arizona, as in other regions of the world including India and Thailand, we experience a monsoon, a season of high temperatures, high winds, and high moisture, resulting in potentially deadly weather. The term “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim,” meaning “season” or “wind shift.” Even though rain doesn’t typically begin in the southern Arizona...
 
 

Melanoma – silent but deadly

Do you love having fun in the sun? If you do, it is essential you protect your skin from exposure to harmful sun rays known to cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, more...
 

 

Army dentists fight uphill battle against sugar

Consultant to the Surgeon General for Dental Public Health Sugar is being called “the new tobacco.” Its many forms have been linked to the increasing rates of diabetes, heart disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and other chronic diseases in the U.S. Army dentists have been fighting on the front lines against sugar for decades. Despite...
 
 

DUI Memorial Vehicle is reminder of dangers of drinking, driving

An SUV with a crumpled front end and dented doors has been transformed into a symbol of the ultimate cost of driving under the influence — the death of a friend or loved one. The black SUV is emblazoned with 262 white crosses, one for each person killed in 2013 in a DUI-related accident in...
 
 

ACS shares disaster preparedness information, ERP news, class dates

Ready Army, special needs Families Army Community Service, ACS, Exceptional Family Program, EFMP, shares information from the Ready Army website. Ready Army is the Army’s proactive campaign to increase the resilience of the Army community and enhance the readiness of the force by informing Soldiers, their Families, Army Civilians and contractors of relevant hazards and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin