Military personnel who suffer traumatic brain injury need to be fed adequately and immediately to reduce the severity of trauma and improve their chance of survival, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine, a finding that also has implications for people sustaining head injuries in other situations, such as sports and traffic accidents.
The report, commissioned by the U.S. Defense Department and released Wednesday, recommends that in the first 24 hours after head trauma, patients need to receive at least 50% of their typical calorie intake, including a higher-than-normal amount of protein, in order to reduce inflammation and swelling of the brain and provide enough energy to help the brain repair itself.
The intensive nutrition regimen should be continued for at least two weeks, the report says.
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Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and her social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing works with clients to use social media to attract more business. Read her social media marketing blog.