Conditions

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and prevents the circulation of blood in the body which results in loss of consciousness and breathing. If this is unexpected it can be termed a sudden cardiac arrest or SCA. Brain injury is likely if cardiac arrest goes untreated for more than five minutes. Sudden cardiac arrest usually results from an electrical disturbance in the heart and is different from a heart attack. However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance that leads to sudden cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest is a severe medical emergency that, in certain situations is potentially reversible if treated early. With fast, appropriate medical care, survival is possible.

Stroke

A stroke is the rapid loss of brain function resulting from a impeded blood supply to the brain. This can be due to lack of blood flow (ischemia) caused by an embolism or other thrombosis or it can be caused by a leakage of blood (hemorrhage). As a result of the lack of blood flow, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to various types of brain malfunction, paralysis or death.

A stroke is a medical emergency that can cause permanent brain damage and even death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and it is the number two cause of death worldwide. Many health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation can contribute to stroke.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury is an externally applied severe injury to the brain. Traumatic Brain Injury can be classified based on severity, type or location.

Traumatic Head Injury is different than head injury which usually refers to a broader category of injury that involves damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

Traumatic brain injury is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, and violence. It is the number one medical condition associated with the current Middle East conflicts.

Veteran’s advocates report that between 10- 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 to 300,000 people, have some level of TBI. Among wounded troops, the rate of TBI rises to 33% (http://www.braintrauma.org). Despite surviving injuries that would have been fatal in previous wars, long-term sequelae of these injuries are life-altering. TBI is currently Navy medicine’s top research priority. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed a greater need for in-theatre treatment of brain injuries due to trauma.