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Soldiers on the battle field face an array of dangers, one of which can be invisible. But thanks to a new device at the forefront of technological advances, the developed portable system will be able to measure the impact of an explosion and help doctors establish injury thresholds for the brain.

According to an article posted by the Fort Campbell Courier, the Office of Naval Research is sponsoring the development of the portable, which is a three-part system that can measure blast pressure, establish injury thresholds for the brain and analyze potential traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms. It’s called Blast Load Assessment Sense and Test – BLAST, for short.

“A system like BLAST is vitally important because it can help recognize the signs of TBI early and tell warfighters they might need medical attention,” said Dr. Timothy Bentley, a program manager overseeing the research for ONR’s Warfighter Performance Department. “This reduces the likelihood of someone enduring multiple blasts and suffering more serious brain injury. BLAST also is unique for its unique suite of technology.”

If someone is exposed to a blast within about 165 feet of where they’re standing, the Department of Defense currently requires them to undergo a medical checkup and take at least 24 hours to recoup. But Bentley says this strategy poses some problems.

For starters, many bases are only about 330 feet across, which means about half of personnel would be required to take the time off and be evaluated by a doctor should a blast occur. Another issue Bentley brought attention to is that 24 hours is not enough time for standard medical tests to detect even a mild TBI.

The way BLAST works is through sensors about the size of a coin that are developed to withstand an explosion. The sensors can be worn on the body or helmet and when an explosion occurs, they are able to record the blast pressure, which is then downloaded by a special scanner. The data can then be analyzed to determine whether or not a soldier can return to his duties – or needs a TBI-focused medical exam.

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Randy Rozek

Attorney and Owner of at Rozek Law Offices, SC
Randy has been helping to protect and rebuild the lives of his injured clients for nearly two decades. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the representation of brain injury survivors and he is regularly asked to speak to other lawyers around the country on brain injury related legal topics.
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