Wednesday, June 8, 2016

24,000 TBI Veterans Tested by Unqualified Workers

VA admits unqualified personnel administered brain injury exam to thousands of veterans
Jun 7, 2016

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has admitted that 24,000 veterans nationwide, including 100 in the Pittsburgh area, were examined by personnel who were unqualified to administer the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) exam.

“It’s always detrimental if somebody is misdiagnosed with something,” said Dr. Edward Kendjelic, a neuropsychologist with the VA Pittsburgh health care system.

Kendjelic told Channel 11 News that a mild traumatic brain injury will likely go away over time, but said a severe traumatic brain injury can lead to more serious effects with symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“For vets returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, traumatic brain injuries or concussions are one of the more common injuries,” he said.

According to VA policy, only four types of designated medical specialists are allowed to diagnose veterans, but that didn’t always happen.

The VA announced plans to offer new TBI exams and to reopen benefits claims for veterans affected.

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