Brain Injury Insider: Michael Kaplen

Episode 88: US Military Continues To Mismanage Troops Suffering From Traumatic Brain Injury

We pass this along, with permission of Michael Kaplen of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP.
Thanks to Bob Feeney

Click to listen to an audio only version on our podcast here.

“The United States Military continues to mismanage troops suffering with traumatic brain injuries.

“Over 450,000 United States military service personnel have sustained traumatic brain injuries from the years 2020 to 2022, yet the Department of Defense failed to consistently implement policies and procedures, to determine the care needed for these service members according to a new report issued by the Inspector General for the Department of Defense (DOD), March 28, 2023.

“The report entitled “Evaluation of the DOD’s Management of Traumatic Brain Injury” was intended to be an objective evaluation of the effectiveness of the Defense Department’s medical branch in identification and screening of service members who experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The report shockingly found:

  • Military Health System providers did not consistently identify and assess patients with traumatic brain injuries;
  • The Department of Defense did not implement consistent policies and procedures for the management of TBI care; and
  • The Department of Defense did not implement consistent policies and procedures of care and return to duty status following identification of members who sustained a TBI.
  • In a stunning conclusion the report states that the Department of Defense is unable to accurately identify, treat, and track incidents of brain injury across all branches of the military.

“The Inspector General has issued the following recommendations:

  • Review the applicability and use of the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation Form, a diagnostic tool known as MACE 2 currently being missed used. Most military treatment facilities were not using the entire form, and failed to use the form for follow up care.
  • 10 out of 14 clinics only filled out parts of the form. And only 6 out of 10 were using it for follow-up care during the healing process. The form requires clinicians to measure a variety of TBI symptoms.
  • Mandate a 72-hour follow-up with patients identified as having a TBI. The Inspector General found only 41% of patients with diagnosed mild traumatic brain injury had 72- hour follow-up appointments, despite a policy recommending them, because the policy only recommends but does not have a mandatory requirement.
  • Create a standard protocol for that second appointment;
  • Establish oversight to make sure the injuries are documented the same way across all service branches.

“The report found providers were not consistently updating troops electronic health records to include their possible or diagnosed traumatic brain injuries, making it harder to track their conditions and follow up on care.

“This report should be a clarion call to our military. This is simply not acceptable.

“The Department of Defense must do better in the identification and treatment of the signature wound of military service.”

The TreatNOW Coalition’s pro bono Mission is to end service member suicides. Service members suicides have once again increased, continuing a fifteen year trend. Coalition clinics have demonstrated 100% safety and over 90% success in treating over 21,000 service members, Special Operators, first responders, athletes, and citizens with TBI/PTSD/Concussion.

Heal Brains. Stop Suicides. Restore Lives. TreatNOW.

The information provided by does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for informational purposes only, and no claims, either real or implied, are being made.