WASHINGTON -- Some 52 percent of soldiers severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan who have come to the U.S. Army's largest hospital for treatment have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), an internal study has found.
The results of the study, carried out by Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, also showed a steep increase -- from 33 percent -- in TBI cases since the end of 2008.
Diagnoses of TBI are rising steadily as arrangements for TBI checks improve, while at the same time improvised explosive device (IED) attacks -- the primary cause of TBI -- in Afghanistan are intensifying, with 46 U.S. soldiers killed by the homemade bombs so far this year. Casualties from these attacks flow into Walter Reed, which provides treatment to badly wounded soldiers unavailable anywhere else.
According to DVBIC at Walter Reed, since January 2003 -- just before the beginning of the Iraq War -- 52 percent of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan by bombs and treated at the hospital have been diagnosed with TBI. According to figures uncovered by the Mainichi, this would mean the number of diagnosed TBI cases has risen to well over 10,000 since the end of 2008, when the figure stood around 9,100. Furthermore, in more than 90 percent of those diagnosed with TBI, the patient had no visible head injuries.