The Polytrauma System of Care reflects VA’s commitment to care for the men and women who have served in uniform. A reality of combat is that some return with loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries, and other severe injuries.
What is Polytrauma?
The term polytrauma is used to refer to injuries to multiple body parts and organ systems that may cause long term impairments and functional disabilities. Some of the most common injuries may include:
• Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
• Skin or soft tissue injuries
• Spinal cord injury
• Hearing loss or damage
• Visual impairments or blindness
• Traumatic amputations
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These injuries can be the result of in-theater or stateside accidents.
Recognizing Brain Injury
The diagnosis of polytrauma may not always be obvious. Subtle signs of brain injury (dizziness, irritability, confusion, memory loss, sleep disturbance, headaches) may be missed. Keep high index of suspicion to refer in cases of:
• Blast injury or exposure to blasts
• History of loss of consciousness
The Richmond Polytrauma care continuum offers a variety of programs for Veterans and Service Members with polytraumatic injuries. These programs include the:
Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center – Comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation (brain injury and general rehabilitation), a Post-deployment 360 degree Evaluation program, Emerging Consciousness Program, and an inpatient prosthetic training program
Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Program - a residential treatment program designed to facilitate independence in the community for patients with moderate to severe disability related to acquired neurologic injury (TBI and nontraumatic brain injury).
Servicemember Transitional Advanced Rehabilitation – a residential treatment program of comprehensive vocational and physical rehabilitation for Veterans and Servicemembers with rehabilitation needs that will facilitate successful return to military, federal or civilian employment.
Polytrauma Network Site – an outpatient evaluation and treatment program for physical, cognitive and emotional problems related to polytrauma injury.
Assistive Technology Program – Evaluation, development and implementation of appropriate assistive technology services, strategies, devices and/or practices to improve the functional challenges faced by service members and veterans in their daily life roles in various environments