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Unqualified doctors misdiagnosing brain injuries in veterans

Proper diagnosis after a brain injury is vital. For people who receive care through the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, a proper diagnosis is vital so they can get the medical care they need. It is also vital so they can get the benefits they need. One congressman is now seeking an investigation regarding brain injury examinations across the country at VA facilities.

It has recently come to light that some VA doctors have been performing TBI exams on patients even though those doctors aren't qualified to do so. Those improper exams have led to some veterans being denied the benefits they are due.

Representative Tim Walz says that even though these unqualified doctors have been found in only one area, the chance that unqualified doctors are doing the same exams across the country isn't something that can be ruled out. He noted that nurse practitioner are doing initial exams on traumatic brain injury patients, which is against VA protocol.

The instances of improper diagnoses will likely have some people wondering if they were accurately diagnosed. In one case, a man who suffered a shattered skull in 1968 while serving in Chu Lai, was denied benefits after exams by two different unqualified medical staff members.

The VA policy notes that all initial brain injury exams have to be performed by a doctor that is in one of four specialties. Neurosurgery and neurology are two of the possible specialties. That policy by the VA shows how important it is that a proper diagnosis is made.

If you have suffered from a brain injury and didn't receive a proper diagnosis, you might opt to seek compensation. You have the right to hold the medical professionals accountable for any effects of the misdiagnosis. If the head injury was caused by someone's negligence, you might also opt to seek compensation from that person.

Source: KARE 11, "Walz calls for nationwide inquiry into VA brain injury exams," A.J. Lagoe and Steve Ecker, Sep. 09, 2015

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