Troops in Afghanistan may have to wait 10 to 12 months for advanced medical machinery for treating concussions, raising concerns among top military leaders that the equipment will not be available for potentially hundreds of sevice members with mild brain injuries.
I read this story the other day and I was amazed that some of the top Service and Combat Commanders are asking for this common medical technology but some doctors in the services are disputing the effectiveness of these technologies,
Army surgeon-general Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker said that although an MRI is a helpful tool in battlefield care, it is not essential for diagnosis.
The Navy surgeon-general, Vice Adm. Adam Robinson, echoed the view that an MRI is primarily a research tool.
Rather than saying “no” and saying they don’t agree with the top Commanders, these medical professionals need to be presenting their cases to the Commanders and either showing they are right and the Commanders are wrong or they need to have their minds changed and support the Commanders’ request.
Without an urgent demand, the two machines for $9 million must be acquired through competitive bidding, the Navy says. They will not reach Afghanistan until August at the earliest, Robinson says.
More than 300 U.S. troops per month suffered concussions last year in Afghanistan. Mullen’s science adviser, Army Col. Christian Macedonia, said if purchased outright, without competitive bidding, MRI machines could go to the war zone in a period of weeks.
So because of acquisition rules and policies about the urgent need of these the MRI machines will take months to go forward and be used rather than weeks which is how fast it could be done.
I bet if some of our Representatives in Congress starting applying some pressure or if the mainstream media started talking about this then those machines would be on the next plane heading east. But until then, I guess it will fall on Army Times and MilBlogs to get the word out.
Read the whole story at http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/04/gannett-no-mris-in-afghanistan-041511/