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VA admits failure to provide qualified professionals for TBI screening

Traumatic brain injury can have a variety of serious effects for those who suffer from it. It is estimated that around 30 percent of injury-related deaths are caused by traumatic brain injury. This is why it is so important for those who may have suffered a traumatic brain injury to be checked out by a competent physician and promptly treated.

Traumatic brain injury occurs because of a blow to the head which disrupts the ordinary functioning of the brain, and is very common among veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t always offer the quality of care vets need to address head injuries. 

For example, the VA recently came out and acknowledged that around 24,000 veterans were not properly treated for traumatic brain injuries between 2007 and 2015. According to a letter sent out to VA patients, VA hospital staff failed to conduct adequate initial examinations for traumatic brain injury on thousands of veterans. Specifically, qualified specialists were not provided to review vets’ condition and patients may not have been properly diagnosed as a result.

In an attempt to fix the problem, the VA is advising patients to come in for a proper evaluation. While better late than never is one way to look at it, the debacle is evidence of the need for serious improvement at the VA.

Ordinarily, a hospital’s failure to provide qualified specialists to conduct brain injury evaluations would be grounds for liability, but the VA and its physicians enjoy special protection under the law. We’ll look at this issue in our next post. 

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