Navy Surgeon General discusses advances in TBI treatments
By U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The top medical officer for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps discussed military medical research advancements in the areas of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress at the 8th Annual World Congress on Brain, Spinal Cord Mapping & Image Guided Therapy, June 8.
The annual medical conference is a multi-disciplinary forum designed to facilitate cross-disciplinary sharing of technological and medical advances and scientific discovery.
During his keynote address, Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr, stated that military medical advancements coupled with enhanced medical training and trauma experience during ten years of war have led to a 97 percent survival rate for coalition casualties; the lowest mortality rate amongst trauma victims coming out of any war in history.
"When Sailors and Marines in the fight are hurt, we apply all of our training and resources to provide rapid evacuation and care, and this is done in partnership with our sister services," said Robinson. "If a warrior can arrive with life in him or her, there is a good chance we can keep them alive. This is a huge advancement since the days of Vietnam and even Desert Storm."
Due to the nature of wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan, Robinson made traumatic brain injury and psychological health treatment his top research priority to best support both operational forces and home-based families during his tenure as Navy Surgeon General and Chief of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
"Our focused research has yielded tremendous results in combat casualty care in mild to severe TBI and post traumatic stress, as well as areas like wound management, wound repair and reconstruction, extremity and internal hemorrhage control and phantom limb pain in amputees," said Robinson.
Robinson told the audience that a key element of healing wounded warriors in body, mind, and spirit starts with care near the point of injury such as the Navy's Concussion Restoration Care Center located at Camp Leatherneck in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the first of its kind facility that brings concussion specialists to the front lines.
Since opening, the center has seen hundreds of personnel and the Navy has since expanded its capability to include first ever Navy neurologist assigned to Kandahar to help support this mission.
"Many of our wounded warriors are walking, talking, and leading productive lives today because of the research and medical advancements we have worked on together, and because of our transition/reintegration and resiliency programs we have created for them and their families," said Robinson. "The world class care we provide today is a direct result of the razor sharp focus we have placed on translational research advancements for our wounded warriors."