Wendy Rigby: 10:16 PM CDT on Sunday, May 3, 2009
Brain injuries are fast becoming one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghantistan. Now, some San Antonio researchers are trying a cutting edge way to treat these wounded warriors. It involves oxygen.
A sudden blast. A bone-rattling jolt. Soldiers who have fallen victim to bombs set off in the war on terror say it’s an experience that rocked their world.
“I remember hitting my head on the roof and then coming down and eating the steering wheel and then after that, I really don’t remember anything besides laying on the ground and having the doc ask me if I was okay,” described John, a Marine who suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
Microscopic damage has been causing a disturbing array of symptoms he can’t ignore. “Reflexes, response time, that’s kind of delayed. I have a terrible memory, slight hearing loss. Slight loss of vision in one of my eyes,” John said.
John has volunteered for a study at Brooks City Base. He’s heading into a hyperbarics chamber, the kind originally used to help divers with the bends. Now, it’s a state-of-the-art treatment for wound healing.