Deployment Health News for 31 August 2012
Submitted by Paul Sutton for Salem-News.com
Updates on health-related issues faced by the military.
Kabul, Afghanistan photo by Tim King Salem-News.com
(WASHINGTON DC) - The following news articles are offered as a service to DoD health care beneficiaries and their health care providers. Articles are selected for dissemination solely based on the military health relevance of the topic.
Provision of these articles is intended to rapidly inform clinicians of information that is publicly available to patients, because that information sometimes causes patients to seek medical advice and care. A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles.
PMC and University of Pittsburgh researchers this week announced an important finding: residual symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and concussions may be linked in military personnel who endure blast and/or blunt traumas. Anthony Kontos, Ph.D., assistant research director for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, announced the concussion/PTSD study conclusions this week at the Military Health System Research Symposium held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. With 27,169 participants from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), it is believed to be the largest study of its kind of concussion and PTSD.
Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team participated in the second phase of an ongoing behavioral health study taking place within the 3rd Infantry Division, Aug. 13-17, on Fort Stewart, Ga. The study, funded by the Facilitating Soldier Receipt of Needed Mental Health Treatment grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, aims to improve the health of the force by collecting data to create an intervention for soldiers focused on reducing the stigma of seeking behavioral health treatment.
At least 1,000 veterans have fallen ill with mysterious symptoms they say were caused by poisonous pollutants from open-air burn pits, fires and clean-up operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are hoping to widen their understanding of war-zone toxins and ultimately help suffering troops. The departments this week are holding closed-door meetings in Washington to discuss and debate deployment-related airborne pollution.
New camouflage face paint for soldiers will offer an added benefit of protecting them from the searing heat of bomb blasts, U.S. scientists are reporting. The new material offers the traditional use of helping soldiers' skin blend in with the natural environment and conceal them from enemies, but can also give protection from the intense heat of roadside bomb blasts and other explosions that have injured many serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts, they said. "The detonation of a roadside bomb or any other powerful explosive produces two dangerous blasts," Robert Lochhead of the University of Southern Mississippi told scientists assembled for the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.
Doctors are diagnosing dozens of Fort Campbell soldiers with severe breathing problems and lung damage that has no known cure. A NewsChannel 5 investigation revealed that Vanderbilt doctors believe thousands of other soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are at risk. They are returning from their tours of duty with an invisible injury that standard Army tests have not detected. "I have a hard time breathing," said Sgt. Brent Michaels. Michaels is a Fort Campbell soldier who uses an inhaler and has trouble doing his job repairing black hawk helicopters. "I didn't think I would be a 27-year-old man that can't play with his 6-year-old kid," Michaels said. Sgt. Michaels is not alone. Dozens of soldiers from Fort Campbell have the same breathing problems and have been unable to pass a basic physical exam that requires a two mile run.
The Pentagon granted a six-month extension Wednesday to a pilot call-in program for American military personnel considering suicide. The suicide rate among both active-duty troops and reservists is alarming, and it's increased dramatically this year. One effort to save troubled lives is led by veterans who understand the problem all too well. Marine reservist Tim Arora served in 2006 near Fallujah, Iraq. He saw some of the most intense fighting of the war. Arora returned with deep psychological wounds so severe he requested a service dog for companionship and comfort. "I was thinking of suicide pretty much on a daily basis," Tim said. "Now it's just how I help others with it." Arora works at a call center at New Jersey's University of Medicine with 25 other veterans. It's called "Vets 4 Warriors." It's a place veterans can call to talk confidentially with other vets. They get 300 calls a week here.
Disclaimer: These published news articles are offered as a service to DoD health care beneficiaries and their health care providers. Articles are selected for dissemination solely based on the military health relevance of the topic. Provision of these articles is intended to rapidly inform clinicians of information that is publicly available to patients, because that information sometimes causes patients to seek medical advice and care. A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions, and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of the Deployment Health Clinical Center or any other US government agency or department.
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