June 2012

Single IED Blast Can Cause Degenerative Brain Condition

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON — Compelling evidence that a degenerative brain condition can be caused by a single blast, equivalent to a typical improvised explosive device (IED), raises troubling questions about the future healthcare needs of servicemembers returning from… Read More

VA Laboratory Policies Under Scrutiny After Death of Vaccine Researcher

By David Beasley SAN FRANCISCO — State and federal investigations will determine what, if any, changes in VA laboratory policies will result from the death of a researcher in San Francisco. The lab at the Northern California Institute for Research… Read More

VA Claims Backlog Also Caused By High Error Rate, Not Only Processing Speed

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — VA’s goal within two years is to have a claims-adjudication system that gets a first-time claim decision to a veteran within 125 days with 98% accuracy. The agency has a long way to go. It… Read More

Women Closer to Front Lines, Medical Positions Affected

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Women already are fulfilling critical roles in the U.S. military, and new changes to DoD rules will allow women to officially serve even closer to the front lines in a variety of occupations, including medical… Read More

There is only one thing people like that is good for them – A good night’s sleep

“There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night’s sleep.” – Edgar Watson Howe (1853 – 1937) Editor-In-Chief, Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA E.W. Howe was wise well beyond his time.… Read More

VA Patients More Likely to Suffer Sleep Apnea, Have More Treatment Options

By Annette M. Boyle Because of their unique demographics, VA patients are four to five times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than the general population. They also have more options for treatment. Dawn M. Bravata, M.D. Veterans now… Read More

Promising Therapies Available for Sleep Disorders Frequently Related to PTSD and TBI

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Disturbed sleep is a common complaint for patients with PTSD and TBI, but military clinicians have some new tools to help treat the issue, according to experts. “Sleep problems are common symptoms of both physical-… Read More

What’s In a Name? – Name Change Proponents Say Labeling PTSD a ‘Disorder’ Prevents Treatment

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — What’s in a name matters for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to proponents of changing what the condition is called, because the word “disorder” keeps some sufferers from getting the treatment they need. The issue… Read More

VA Study Identifies Factors In Veterans’ Weight Changes

While active-duty military personnel are less likely to be overweight or obese compared with civilians of similar ages, that benefit does not always persist after servicemembers become veterans. A new study from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and… Read More

Lack of Documented Nurse Competency Could Put VA Patients at Risk

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Gaps in VA’s nurse-competency practices might be putting patients at risk, according to an investigation by VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The report found that nurses went years without being assessed for their… Read More