October 2011

States Shift Medical Costs to VA by Identifying Overlooked Vets

OLYMPIA, WA — As the tepid economy puts a vise on spending nationwide, state governments are searching for ways to take the pressure off their treasuries. A method that has been used to great success in Washington and is finding… Read More

Troops Severely Injured Outside of War Zones Now Eligible for Payouts

WASHINGTON — Military veterans injured between 2001 and 2005 are now retroactively eligible for traumatic injury benefits, even if they never deployed overseas to battle zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. The benefit also applies to National Guard and Reserve members… Read More

Study Examines Association Between DHA Levels and Suicide Risk

WASHINGTON, DC — Diet impacts far more than waistlines and the risk of obesity. In fact, the military has been paying close attention to not only the role of nutrition in maintaining physical health, but also how it relates to… Read More

Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s

“Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”— Matthew 22.21 I had the misfortune recently of stumbling across a movie documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” narrated by Ben Stein, as I… Read More

Many Servicemembers Who Commit Suicide Have Never Seen Battle

Jonathan Woodson, MD WASHINGTON — When servicemembers commit suicide, a common misperception is that the extreme act is a response to traumatic battlefield experiences. In reality, many, if not most, military personnel who kill themselves have never been… Read More

Fortuitous Mass-Casualty Training at Pentagon Saved Lives 10 Years Ago

Retired Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Paul K. Carlton Jr., right, directs responders after the Pentagon attack Sept. 11, 2011. WASHINGTON — Mass-casualty management planning that occurred at the Pentagon in the months and days before 9/11 helped medical personnel respond appropriately… Read More

DoD, NIH Partner to Create TBI Research Database

BETHESDA, MD — Recent projects being overseen or funded at NIH hope to shed light on the biology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and give physicians and future researchers better tools to understand, diagnose and treat the condition. TBI Database… Read More

Government Research Injuries Should be Compensated Without Lawsuits, Panel Says

WASHINGTON — The United States should have a system in place to compensate medical research subjects for injuries incurred during the trials they were a part of, according to a federal report. Currently, the U.S. requires subjects to seek compensation… Read More

Military Battles to Improve Prehospital Care for Wounded Troops

WASHINGTON — Approximately 86% of all battlefield deaths occur within the first 30 minutes after wounding. That is one reason why care administered even before wounded troops make it to a combat-casualty care hospital is so critical. This phase of… Read More

Tattoos, Uniforms Don’t Always Go Together, So MTFs Busy Removing Skin Art

WASHINGTON — Many young people of enlistment age have tattoos, and some percentage are required to remove body art that the military services deem inappropriate. That sometimes can be a time-consuming, if not difficult, medical process. Some tattoo inks are… Read More

FDA Views Future Role as More Than Just Regulator

WASHINGTON — Since taking office, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, has pushed for science to play a stronger role in the agency, both in the rationale for its decision-making and in meeting its basic purpose.  FDA, she has said,… Read More

RA Puts Veterans at Greater Risk for Heart Disease; VA Targets Risk Factors

Two recent studies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have sent up a red flag for physicians caring for veterans with the disease; such patients appear to be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease due to inflammation and several other… Read More

Osteoarthritis More Common in Servicemembers, Presents Challenge for Military

Though most servicemembers are relatively young, osteoarthritis is a serious problem for the U.S. military. A recent study in journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that military troops are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than civilians, and that arthritis is especially… Read More

PTSD May Be ‘Common Cold’ of Psychiatric Illness, Expert Says

WASHINGTON — Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often is associated with troops returning from war, but it actually is quite common, not only in the military, but in  civilians who experience natural disasters and other traumatic events. “PTSD is not uncommon,… Read More

Pulmonary Embolism Higher at Low Volume Hospitals

Patients who underwent elective total hip (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgeries in low-volume hospitals had a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and mortality following the procedure, a recent study suggests. For the study, researchers sought to examine the… Read More

Cigarettes Linked to Half of Bladder Cancers in Women

Half of bladder cancer seen in women can be linked to cigarette smoking, a National Cancer Institute study reports. Previous studies had shown only 20% to 30% of bladder cancer cases in women being caused by smoking. However, new data… Read More

Speech Pathologist Helps Impaired Veterans Regain Language Skills

WASHINGTON — Patrick Doyle, PhD, has spent the last 31 years — the sum of his career as a communication disorder specialist — working with veterans struggling with aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder typically caused by stroke, and… Read More

Resilience Programs Have Mushroomed in Military, But Do They Work?

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has implemented programs and strategies to promote psychological resilience among troops as stress from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has taken a toll. Little is known, however, about the effectiveness of those programs,… Read More

New Hospital Incorporates Livable Features Proven to Speed Recovery

Fort Belvoir, VA – The new 120-bed Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (FBCH) is far from the typical hospital with institutional green cinderblock walls lining dark hallways. The facility, which opened last month in the national capital region, has ample natural… Read More

Just the Beginning: Genomics Research Now Used to Identify, Treat Diseases

BETHESDA, MD — A wave of genetic research projects sparked by last decade’s completion of the Human Genome Project are slowly making their way to fruition. Researchers, many of whom are based at NIH, are busy teasing apart the genetic… Read More