Cumulative Concussions

Some service members may have sustained multiple concussions. It's important to determine if that's the case — for example, was the individual exposed to a number of blasts? Sustaining multiple concussions can require more time for recovery after each subsequent injury. What is not clear from the literature is if multiple concussions increase the severity and duration of symptoms.

The military takes the issue of cumulative concussions very seriously. Service members receive a mandatory evaluation after any event that could possibly cause a concussion/mTBI. Additionally, those who have sustained three or more concussions must receive a more detailed evaluation before being cleared to return to combat.

Watch Dr. James Kelly, head of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, talk about the military's protocol for caring for service members who sustain three or more concussions:

New Military Protocol for Three or More Concussions

Soldiers who have sustained three concussions will receive a more detailed, mandatory evaluation before returning to combat.

*Note: The video interview with Dr. Kelly was shot in August 2010. Some information may have changed.

For more on this topic, please review BrainLine Military's cumulative concussions page.