AP Enterprise: Army treats brain injuries in field

July 14, 2011 - 1:14 PM

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — The Army is doing more to treat soldiers with concussions in Afghanistan instead of sending them back to the United States, part of an effort to better treat and track brain injuries.

Medical officers in Afghanistan say the new rules for treating mild cases of traumatic brain injury mean more soldiers are going back to their units rather than being sent home early. The effort includes seven new clinics in Afghanistan.

The Army has had to rethink the way it deals with concussions because U.S. soldiers often are targeted by roadside or suicide bombs. Not treating the sometimes hard-to-spot injury can lead to physical and emotional problems that linger long after the soldier returns home. But sending troops out of country for treatment can leave battle units short-handed.

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Kristin Hall can be reached at http://twitter.com/kmhall