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U.S. gov’t upgrading injury status of Iraq, Afghan war veterans with TBI February 28, 2010

Posted by intebic in Uncategorized.
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is now informing some 32,000 U.S. military personnel diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that their injury status will be upgraded.

The department is sending written notifications to soldiers and Marines diagnosed with TBI from October 2008 to the present, notifying them that even if their condition has not changed, their injury status is being upgraded. The change of status was revealed in a Veterans Affairs study for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

TBI — sustained by some 140,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to October last year, primarily from improvised explosive device detonations — are difficult to diagnose as they are not externally visible. Many sufferers are misdiagnosed with psychological conditions, leading to criticism that only a small number of those with TBI were being categorized properly.

In July 2007, one group of veterans sued Veterans Affairs in the U.S. District Court in California in a bid to have returning service members with TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed properly. The suit was dismissed in June 2008, but on appeal the court recognized the need for Veterans Affairs to improve its diagnoses.

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