Today, many servicemen and women are making the transition from the battlefield to the home front. But what are they coming back to? The veteran healthcare system in the United States is currently going through a transition process. There are some veterans that do not receive proper care. Many of the men and women returning from war are dealing with trauma from the events overseas.
According the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 6 out of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women experience at least one traumatic event. This trauma could impact the cognitive ability through Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or could lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With new advances in medical testing and research, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is easing the pain of many of servicemen and women through an increase in oxygen. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of Northern Virginia (HBOTNOVA) says that, “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been clearly demonstrated to dramatically increase immune capabilities, assisting patients with problems ranging from chronic infections to complex disabilities, including pain and neurological impairment.”
The Purple Heart Foundation would like the public to understand that both TBI and PTSD are serious wounds of war that many servicemen and women are returning home with. Both of these ailments have plagued the lives of many veterans for decades.
The Department of Veterans Affairs defines Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as, “. . .may happen from a blow or jolt to the head or an object penetrating the brain. When the brain is injured, the person can experience a change in consciousness that can range from becoming disoriented and confused to slipping into a coma. The person might also have a loss of memory for the time immediately before or after the event that caused the injury. Not all injuries to the head result in a TBI.”
- Males outnumber females by at least 2:1 in frequency of TBIs.
- Individuals between the ages of 0 to 4 and those 15 to 19 are at high risk for TBI, as are the elderly.
- Individuals who abuse substances are also at increased risk for TBI.
- TBI resulting from blast injury occurs rather frequently in the military engaged in active combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Department of Veterans Affairs research shows that PTSD can happen to anyone. The traumatic events of war can impact how servicemen and women react to situations in their daily lives. The behavior of each individual can change and the cognitive health suffers as well. Here are some facts (based on the U.S. population):
- About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
- About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
- About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). (Source: Department of Veterans Affairs).
Now that TBI and PTSD have been defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is appropriate to discuss a medical advance that is being used to ease both issue. The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of Northern Virginia defines Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as, “. . .an atmosphere conducive to healing, aiding in the recovery from a variety of illnesses and conditions using oxygen, under pressure, filling the Hyperbaric chamber, increases the oxygen concentration within a person’s body 15 to 20 times normal at the cellular level. Increased oxygen tension accelerates healing processes and aids in recovery from certain conditions and maladies.”
HBOTNOVA has released patient testimonials about the HBOT treatment:
- “The technician is wonderful… so caring and competent.”
- “…My cognition has significantly improved.”
- “…This has so positively changed my life…”
- “I am so impressed with your ability to listen to what I say…”
There is much more research to be done but it does seem that HBOT is helping people all over the country including servicemen and women. This is something that veterans should have access to through the VA hospitals and through private facilities.
The Purple Heart Foundation acknowledges that the transition from battlefield to the home front can be a difficult one. It is the goal of The Purple Heart Foundation to make that transition as smooth as possible for all veterans. That is why The Purple Heart Foundation is working to secure funding to provide treatments for veterans in at least 10 states by the end of the calendar year. HBOT is a prevalent treatment to many of the veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD everyday.
The Purple Heart Foundation remains committed to assisting veterans in all aspects of their lives. Nearly 90% of cash donations fund HBOT, the National Service Officer Program, the Scholarship Program, service dog programs, and other recreational and rehabilitative programs. The Purple Heart Foundation believes that educating the public and veterans about medical services available will help everyone understand the issue at hand better. The Purple Heart Foundation prides itself on being the only veteran service organization with an entire membership that was wounded in combat. You can help The Purple Heart Foundation continue its mission today by making a one-time or monthly pledge to ensure veterans continue to get the support and benefits they deserve by clicking here.