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New online course targets diagnosis of mild TBI

January 21, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the “signature injury” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Department of Defense data through July 31, 2011, all TBI severities total 220,430, of which 169,209 are classified as Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). While devastating effects on the visual system can result from mTBI, it is frequently misdiagnosed.

A new, free online continuing education course with two hours of COPE credit, “Recognizing the signs of mild traumatic brain injury during routine eye examinations,” has recently been released by the Citizen Soldier Support Program.

Robert Newcomb, O.D., past president of the National Association of Veterans Affairs Optometrists said, “Optometrists do not need special equipment to detect vision problems caused by mTBI. They just need to consider previous closed-head trauma as a possible etiology when managing these patients.”

Andrew Buzzelli, O.D., dean and professor at the University of Incarnate Word, Rosenberg School of Optometry, endorsed the course by referencing military personnel, “They are always prepared to protect us. We should always be prepared to take care of them. This course is our strategic planning to do just that.”

Recognizing the signs of mild traumatic brain injury during routine eye examinations represents the collaboration of several noteworthy clinicians. Clifford D. Brown, O.D., MPH, is a captain in the United States Public Health Service having served more than two decades in uniform. Gary L. Mancil, O.D., has 22 years of Veterans Administration (VA) service and is chief of optometry service at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C. Peter W. Bickel, O.D., is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and served as military consultant and editor.

“Recognizing the signs of mild traumatic brain injury during routine eye examinations” may be accessed at http://optometry.osu.edu/CE/ or www.aheconnect.com/citizensoldier.

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