TBI awareness event features open house, panel discussion

Courtesy of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Public Affairs

To kick off Brain Injury Awareness Month, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic will host a panel discussion with a keynote speaker and Traumatic Brain Injury subject matter experts from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Bruno’s Pasta Bar, Bldg. 3780 on LRMC. Light refreshments will be served.

“Change Your Mind about Brain Injury: Prevent, Recognize and Support” is this year’s theme for Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Following the panel discussion, everyone is invited to attend an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. at the LRMC TBI Clinic in Bldg. 3737 located next to the fire station. The open house will allow the public to see demonstrations of the latest technology used in the treatment of TBI, such as the Neurocom, a system used to evaluate patients to determine areas in need of treatment, such as eyes, inner ear or nerves that connect the body to the brain.

Another system on display will be the Fire Arms Simulator, which is used to evaluate and observe the common task of a military TBI patient firing a military weapon. Bluetooth technology and simulated recoil are used to evaluate basic marksmanship, safety, familiarity, judgment, vision, endurance and transition between firing positions. The driving simulator, also a helpful tool used to evaluate reaction times, safety and functional vision, or to assess dual tasking and memory after a TBI, will also be on display.

TBI is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of the TBI is determined at the time of the injury and may be classified as mild, moderate or severe. Mild TBI, or concussion as it’s more commonly known, is the most common type of brain injury sustained in the military, said Dr. Scott Swasey, director of the LRMC TBI Clinic.

In the military, the leading causes of TBI, both deployed and non-deployed, are blasts, bullets, fragments, falls, motor vehicle crashes and rollovers, sports injuries, and assaults. In the deployed setting, blasts are the leading cause of TBI.

Most concussions resolve or get better within seven to 10 days. Some common symptoms that may persist after a concussion include, but are not limited to, headaches, sleep disturbances, dizziness and visual disturbances. Patients may also experience poor concentration and memory problems as well as irritability and mood swings. Recovery is different for every person and depends on the nature of the injury. At higher risk of sustaining TBIs are young men who are performing military duties or have a history of prior concussion and/or substance abuse. Anyone who has sustained a concussion or feels they may have sustained a concussion should seek medical attention.

The community is encouraged to attend the panel discussion and open house to become better informed about TBI and become familiar with the resources available locally.
The TBI clinic is an open access clinic. No referrals are required. Anyone who believes they have had a TBI and are not getting better can self-refer to the clinic by calling 590-4462 or 06371-9464-4462.

In addition, the TBI staff will be conducting tabletop displays at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center and at LRMC during the month to raise awareness about TBI prevention and recognition in support brain injury awareness.
For more information, call 590-5601 or 06371-9464-5601.