This post is based on an article written by Corey Dickstein for the Savannah Morning News.
Soldiers and family members gathered around the Chevy Lumina parked on a strip of grass in front of Fort Stewart’s main post-exchange to watch as the Engine 5 crew tore the car apart with specialized rescue equipment. The demonstration was part of a traumatic brain injury awareness program launched as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. While traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been a hot-button issue for troops returning from combat, especially those who have been injured in an incident such as an improvised explosive device blast, Fort Stewart medical officials want the public to understand brain injuries occur on the home front every day.
“We’re hammering home that traumatic brain injuries can happen to anybody at anytime, anywhere,” said Kim White, a psychology technician at the Warrior Restoration Center at Winn Army Community Hospital. “… The most important message we’re giving out is to always get medical attention. In any kind of incident that might be a concussion, we want people to get checked out, even if it’s just to be on the safe side.”
TBI is defined by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center as an impact to the head that impedes normal brain function. It can vary from mild or moderate – most often in the form of a concussion that heals within days or weeks – to severe cases of TBI that can have lasting effects for a patient’s entire life.
Warning signs of possible brain injuries can be physical, cognitive or even emotional. Symptoms, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, can include headaches, dizziness, balance problems, light sensitivity, memory problems, slowed thinking, depression and mood swings.
According to White, people with a brain injury may not realize they are exhibiting those symptoms. She asked anyone who suspects a friend or loved one might have a TBI to encourage the person to seek medical attention immediately.
“At Fort Stewart,” White said, “car wrecks are a major concern among health care workers. That’s why the Warrior Restoration Center chose a vehicle-extrication in a heavy foot-traffic area as its public display.”
Call to Action
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Thanks to Google for helping me find the article; Corey Dickstein for writing the article; Savannah Morning News from publishing the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture or text I used in this post.