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DOD Issues Standards for Brain Injury Purple Heart

U.S. service members injured in the line of duty have long been eligible to receive the Purple Heart Medal. This has held true for the signature wounds of the current wars, including mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions.

Recently, the criterion for awarding the medal was refined. “More clarity now exists for how medical criteria for the award are applied,” Defense Department officials reported.

“The criteria for the Purple Heart award state that the injury must have been caused by enemy action or in action against the enemy and has to be of a degree requiring treatment by a medical officer.”

The DOD still allows for the award of a Purple Heart when a service member was not treated by a Westchester medical officer, as long as a medical officer can certify that the member’s injury would have required treatment by a medical officer had such an officer been available.

This additional criterion is important because it can still be a very difficult task to determine when a mild traumatic brain injury or a concussive injury occurs if it does not result in a loss of consciousness. Many injuries are severe enough to require treatment by a medical officer, but they are not diagnosed.

Many advances are being made to ensure proper diagnoses in the field, but may still yet be months or years away from implementation, a source based in Manhattan tells us. Officials with the DOD said that as the science of traumatic brain injuries becomes better understood, guidance for award of the medal will evolve.

A Lawyer praises the efforts of the military for their acknowledgement of the sacrifices of the members of the U.S. Armed Forces’.

Receiving a Purple Heart is a high honor given to those who have sacrificed in the line of duty. By taking steps to refine the requirements for the award, the DOD is ensuring that the award maintains its distinctiveness. And by listing the requirements, everyone who sees the Medal will know that a valorous deed was committed by the wearer.

Should you receive medical treatment and are diagnosed with a brain injury, you deserve attention, whether you are in the military or not. A New York Brain Injury Attorney can help you attain the medical attention you need to recover and lead a promising life.

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