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Missed brain injury diagnosis can have serious consequences

There are many causes for a traumatic brain injury. In some cases, a car accident or assault can do major damage. In others, a North Adams physician’s negligence can result in the brain injury. As far too many veterans are learning, the war is causing these injuries, and a recent report shows that medical staff are failing to diagnose the condition.

According to military figures, about 115,000 men and women have suffered a traumatic brain injury since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. However, top Army officials note that many more probably have the condition, and research that NPR and ProPublica have found indicates it could be tens of thousands more.

There are several red flags that the investigation unearthed, including that military tests fail to diagnose up to 40 percent of concussions. Some military officials noted that another exam – which cost the Pentagon millions of dollars – is not a reliable way to diagnose the injury. What’s more, according to the findings, these soldiers are not receiving the treatment they should, resulting in lingering effects and even a lifestyle change due to issues with memory, concentration and focus.

The Army’s most senior medical official noted that they have shortcomings when it comes to diagnosing and treating issues. This type of medical negligence can have serious effects on victims, who should, if nothing else, be kept from engaging in certain activities the way athletes or victims of car crashes are. Anyone who has incurred pain, suffering and medical expenses due to a missed diagnoses or improper medical care should seek legal help immediately and file a lawsuit seeking the compensation they deserve.

Source: OPB, “Military Still Failing to Diagnose, Treat Brain Injuries,” NPR, Dec. 27, 2013

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