BrainLine Military

A Service of brainline.org


Turn off text only


Page Utilities

 

How Are Blast-Induced Concussions Graded?

How Are Blast-Induced Concussions Graded?

Comments [2]

Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.
Blast injury-related concussion, in the military's view, seems to be that it's a more complex injury than the single blow to the head, sports-related concussion that we understand better. There are grading scales used by certain military services. So, for instance, the Marines-- meaning the Navy medical personnel that care for the Marines-- grade concussions in a way that is very similar to a merging of the Colorado guideline and the American Academy of Neurology guideline with the three-grade scale. But the definition itself, that's Defense Department-wide, doesn't use a grading scale, and it's intended for all types of concussion-- blast-related or biomechanical injury in a crash or whatever-- so there isn't necessarily a distinctive concussion grading or assessment for a blast-related concussion that's different from any other type of concussion. The grades of concussion in the scales that have been merged and used, in one sense or another, in the Navy/Marines system would be--the mildest form is an alteration in mental status without there being a gap in memory; so no amnesia or unconsciousness. So it's a person who is fully awake the entire time but recognizes-- or other people recognize--that they're not tracking what's happening around them. So a confusional state is the neurological term for that particular threshold of Grade 1, if you will. Grade 2 would be something a little bit worse in the sense that there is either a gap in memory, which is one way of looking at it--so there's a post-traumatic amnesia-- or they have lingering symptoms related to the concussion that go on for a span of time, and that's somewhat arbitrary. The Academy of Neurology said 15 minutes, others had said more or less. Grade 3 would be witnessed loss of consciousness, and by that we truly mean paralytic coma-- and in either grading system, that's the same that way-- that there is actually a witnessed loss of consciousness, such that even the individual--the person with the injury-- wouldn't know that they were unconscious. They just have a gap in memory; a span of time they can't account for. So it requires--for a Grade 3, it truly requires that somebody else witness them truly being unconscious, even if it's just momentary.

show transcriptShow transcript | Print transcript

Blast injury-induced concussions seem to be more complex than a single blow the the head concussion, like in sports. To date, there is no distinctive rating system for blast -induced concussions.

 

Produced by Noel Gunther and Brian King, BrainLine.


James Kelly, MDJames Kelly, MD is the director of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. As a neurologist, he is one of America’s top experts on treating concussions.


The contents of BrainLine Military (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments [2]

I was at the epicenter of a blast so strong that it blew down both sides of the wall and blew the floor up. Why is it so hard to get over the symptoms after almost 3years?

Jan 20th, 2015 8:22pm

I survived a severe mill explosion in 2012 ,and suffered a really bad concussion.

Jan 17th, 2015 9:56pm

 


BrainLine Footer

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!