Roadside bombs are a serious problem for servicemembers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and now researchers are seeking to better understand the long-term effects these attacks can have on veterans.
According to military records, the U.S. has lost 3,589 soldiers to roadside bombs and another 32,556 have been wounded, reports Stars and Stripes. These numbers come from the 2.6 million troops that have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the past decade.
Brain damage is one of the most common long-term injuries caused by roadside bombs. Approximately 32,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been diagnosed with brain damage, according to VA data reported by Stars and Stripes, which can occur without any physical impact to the servicemembers’ head. In some cases, just being in the proximity of a roadside bomb detonation can be forceful enough to cause head trauma leading to brain damage.
The long-term consequences of brain damage are not completely understood, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is looking for better sources of research on the condition. The IOM have requested that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) develop a database to report cases of servicemembers injured by roadside bombs and the long-term complications they experience after the attack.
The VA already keeps detailed records of Agent Orange exposure and of Gulf War veterans who experience service-connected illnesses. The development of a roadside bomb injury database could help doctors better understand the various disabling conditions that can persist after an attack.
With continuing research and treatment of veterans injured by roadside blasts, doctors are constantly finding new ailments connected to brain damage. A roadside bomb can cause a number of service-connected disabilities which may qualify a veteran for veterans’ disability benefits.
If you or a loved one were injured in a roadside bombing in Iraq or Afghanistan and are disabled because of it, contact The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group to speak to a veterans disability claims specialist: 1-855-855-8992.