Late Breaking News
Introduction by Brenda L. Mooney, Editorial Director, U.S. Medicine
- Categorized in: 2012 Compendium of Federal Medicine
VA has noted that the higher rate of medical-care usage is the result of higher survival rates for the seriously wounded, higher incidents of PTSD and other mental-health problems and the willingness of more veterans to seek treatment for mental health.
The system is being stretched to deal with the spate of mental health issues. Of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking treatment at VA, 23% were diagnosed with possible post-traumatic stress disorder, while 63,009, or 16% were found to have possible depressive disorders.
One article describes the growing incidence of bipolar disorder among veterans and how VA is handling it. Another discusses the growing evidence of a link between neuropsychological issues such as TBI, a virtual epidemic in this decade’s conflicts, and eventual development of dementia, which means VA must start now planning for late-life care for some of these young patients.
DoD also is grappling with issues unique to the current military reality. Read how the Department of Defense has made great progress in helping industry develop prosthetics for returning servicemembers who have lost limbs due to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s hard to imagine that the advancements are being tested; to a baby boomer like me, they seem like something out a science fiction novel.
The growing role of women in the military also has created issues unanticipated even in the Vietnam era. Our reporter looks at the challenges in finding effective birth-control methods that can be used by deployed women in remote areas without refrigeration or other amenities.
Another issue unique to the 21st century is the ever-constant danger of bioterrorism, which gives increased urgency to efforts by DoD and VA to monitor and prevent the spread of influenza, covered in this issue.
As editorial director at U.S. Medicine, I am honored to deal every day with federal healthcare providers. Your professional dedication is awe-inspiring, as is the bravery of the men and women who serve our country as warriors and then work so hard to overcome the injuries and illnesses that beset them.
I trust you find the material presented in the 2012 Compendium both thought-provoking and useful in your practice. U.S. Medicine is committed to being a strong voice for federal medicine and welcomes any recommendations or comments. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any comments on this publication or U.S. Medicine.
Brenda L. Mooney
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