Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Perspective: Landstuhl tries to get ahead of brain injuries

An injured soldier is brought out of a plane on a stretcher at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on his way to Landstuhl Medical Center for treatment

LANDSTUHL, Germany — In the developing battle against traumatic brain injury among U.S. troops, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center stands at a strategic crossroads.

The hospital is the “chokepoint” in the military medical evacuation process. It is where all the wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan are ferried and treated before being sent to various hospitals around States.

All patients, including outpatients being treated at the center for relatively minor injuries, are asked if they’ve been exposed to blasts.

“This is the place for screening and capture [of traumatic brain injury],” said Ramon Font, TBI inpatient coordinator at Landstuhl. “The push now is to get 100 percent [of the patients] so people don’t leave here without being screened.”

Since its TBI screening program began last May, Landstuhl has identified 33 percent of its war-related inpatients as having some form of TBI.

Read the rest at Stars and Stripes