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Pentagon issues new brain injury detection directives

NPR reports that the Pentagon has issued a new directive ordering better tracking and treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries in war zones, including a mandatory 24-hour rest period for any soldier exposed to a nearby blast.

The new policy, which has been in development for months, also requires soldiers who have suffered three mild traumatic brain injuries, to have a complete neurological assessment done before returning to the battlefield.

The directive places the focus on evaluating all soldiers exposed to a blast or other head trauma, as opposed to relying upon medical staff or soldiers themselves to report symptoms from an injury.

Under previous policies, medics were supposed to evaluate soldiers after blasts, but there was no mandatory rest period. Medical guidelines did not specify how many concussions triggered the need for a complete evaluation of a soldier's cognitive functions.

Read the full NPR story by clicking here.

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