Although a recent news story relates a disturbing VA-related tale linked with traumatic brain injury diagnosis to a single ex-soldier’s experience in St. Louis, the former Army major’s case is similarly echoed in stories told by many thousands of military veterans across the country.
A formal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ policy is what centrally drives those tales, namely, a VA requirement that a TBI diagnosis or suspected condition must be confirmed at a second level of review.
As noted in the above-cited media investigation, that review consists of an examination conducted by “only four types of highly-trained specialists.”
Think a neurologist or a psychiatrist, perhaps.
Not a medical intern.
And yet is that what the aforementioned vet got when he had to undergo that second exam following an initial diagnosis of TBI suffered in a car bomb explosion in Iraq.
And not just any medical intern. The second diagnosis — which concluded with a no-TBI finding — was rendered by a psychology student intern.
Subsequent to that, the former officer opted for an outside opinion from a neurologist and medical school professor, who says that, “I’m as sure as I need to be” when it comes to being confident that the veteran is suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
The ex-major is now suing the VA, alleging medical malpractice.
Other similar cases could follow. Reportedly, the VA has admitted to using what the above media piece calls “unqualified personnel” to conduct brain-trauma examinations and render TBI diagnoses in close to 25,000 cases.
And those cases span the country.
Clearly, that is not according quality medical care to military veterans who made a clear sacrifice for the nation.