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Shock Waves Cause As Much Damage As Impact Head Injuries

Posted by Gregory M. Rada | Disability Compensation

A recent study has confirmed that the concussive blast wave from an explosion can be equally as damaging as an impact injury to the head when it comes to traumatic brain injuries. The study set out to determine whether there was any difference in the level of symptoms suffered by service members “with blast-related vs. non-blast-related concussive TBI” and concluded there was not.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Neural,  found that “[g]lobal outcomes, headache severity, neuropsychological performance, and surprisingly even PTSD severity and depression were indistinguishable between the two TBI groups” independent of whether the TBI was caused by a blast wave or impact injury. This new research is important for veterans who suspect they suffered a TBI from a blast wave. For example, soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan have been subject to the blast waves from mortar attacks and IEDs without suffering a direct impact, while a basic trainee in boot camp could be injured by the blast wave from a training grenade exploding prematurely or closer than intended.

If VA has denied your claim for a TBI caused by a blast wave, then this research could potentially be used as new and material evidence to show a TBI even without an impact injury to the head. As the signature injury of OIF and OEF, it is expected that there will be more and more research on blast-related TBIs.

Source: JAMA Neural