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Reducing the Occurrence of Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military


Researchers recently found that soldiers who wear military helmets one size larger and with thicker pads, have reduced the severity of blunt and ballistic impact traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The one-year study funded by the U.S. Army and the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) was aimed at comparing the effectiveness of various military and football helmet pads.

The particular research facility used was chosen via a review committee. The committee concluded that the LLNL research lab had the best set of skills, and their previous experience working on blast-induced TBI would prove valuable.

A Queens doctor specified that five different types of pad systems were studied. Those currently and previously used by the Army, two used in NFL helmets, and one used in other protective sports equipment were examined.

The two Army systems consist of bilayer (hard-soft) foam pads within a water-resistant airtight wrapper. One of the NFL systems consists of a thin foam pad and a hollow air-filled cylinder that buckles under load, and the other is a bilayer foam pad surrounded by a covering with air-relief channels that connect to adjacent pads in the helmet. The fifth pad consists of uniformly dense foam.

A combination of experiments and computational simulations were used to study the response of the various protective systems when pitted against battlefield-relevant impacts. The information gathered helped researchers gain an understanding of how each of the helmet pads provide protection against impact.

A researcher who read the report relates in simple terms what the scientific findings were. “For each of the pads, experiments were conducted so the research team could characterize the properties of each of the components within the helmet system. They also observed the response of the complete pad system. The tests were given in a range of impact velocities to ensure accurate answers.

After the testing in Nassau, computational simulations examined how those various parameters affect the system’s general response to impacts. The materials of the foam, pad thickness, pad area, trapped air, etc. were some of the parameters tested.

Drop tests with the actual materials were done to confirm the results of the simulations.

As a result of the teams exhaustive testing and simulation, they were able to recommend the use of a larger size helmet and thicker foam to reduce TBIs in the field.

As more information regarding TBIs emerges and as protective gear is manufactured for the protection of loved ones, you can be sure that New York Brain Injury Attorneys are paying attention and watching for information that is useful to their clients. If you have any questions or concerns, call for a consultation with a New York Brain Injury Attorney today.

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