The symptoms of bTBI (explosive blast traumatic brain injury) can actually be very subtle, doctors tell studies. Sometimes, there is no outward sign of injury until certain symptoms begin to arise, like headaches, vertigo, or short-term memory loss. Because of this, victims of bTBI should be evaluated by a physician or psychologist to determine how extensive their injuries might be, if any. Neurophysical evaluation should be a part of this examination. There are currently efforts to create neuropsychological tests that can be automated on laptop computer or are easy enough to be used to by first responders who may have less training.
Patient who may have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) should see a combat stress team provider or a psychiatrist as soon as possible. It is very important to remember, doctors have learned, that bTBI and PTSD can have very similar symptoms and may occur alone or together in a patient. It may be difficult to tell them apart.
When TBI may be present in a patient, that person should be excused from all combat-related duties. The patient should be put on light duty until the symptoms are gone or until he or she is moved to a place where advanced neuroimaging, like MRI, may be used, and a more detailed evaluation can be used. Doctors in Bronx and Queens hospitals have determined that it is vital for a patient suffering TBI, or who may be suffering from it, to be treated with the utmost care, so the condition does not become worse.