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Brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, particularly if they are on the mild end of the spectrum. A recent article highlighted a portable device that could make diagnosis easier and quicker.

A report from the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) study suggested the new technology could fill a gap in hospital emergency departments, sports field, and on the battlefield, the Lancet noted. Several studies are being conducted into finding more effective and quicker tests for mild TBIs.

The study looked at 450 patients who were admitted to the emergency rooms. It suggested blood-based biomarkers can detect TBIs in as little as 15 minutes.

As experienced brain injury trial lawyers, we are well aware of the obstacles hospitals face diagnosing mild traumatic brain injuries such as a concussion. We welcome any new tests that make diagnosis more simple.

The Drawbacks in Using MRIs and CT Scans to Diagnose Brain Injuries

Medical professionals often use computed tomography (CT) scans to combine x-ray images taken from different angles of a patient’s head. This technology uses processing to create cross-sectional slices of bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than standard x-rays.

CT scans are used to diagnose acute brain injury problems that may be life-threatening and require emergent treatment. CT scans are fast and widely available. They are effective at detecting bleeding within and around the brain (hematoma) as well as brain swelling (edema). CT scans are also ideal for detecting skull fractures. They are less effective at detecting damage to nerve fibers associated with mild traumatic brain injuries. Nearly 30 percent of patients in a recent study who received a negative CT scan showed signs of a traumatic brain injury when doctors later performed an MRI scan.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic tool. It can detect signs of injury such as minute bleeding and small areas of bruising or scarring that a CT scan often misses. Even an MRI may not be able to detect certain brain abnormalities associated with a TBI.

How Blood-Based Biomarkers May Diagnose TBI Patients with Few Symptoms

Researchers at Orlando Health considered how to find sub-concussive injuries with no symptoms and brain injuries that develop over time with repeated blows to the head.

The latest study includes more than 700 emergency room patients, both adults, and children. The study moves closer to developing a standard blood test to spot these injuries as soon as possible.

Linda Papa, MD, lead author of the study and emergency medicine doctor at Orlando Health, said:

“A unique feature of this study is that it includes patients who hit their heads but have no symptoms. This group is rarely — if ever — included in biomarker studies.”

The TRACK-TBI study is one of the largest concussion studies of its kind. It followed a comprehensive study led by the University of California in San Francisco. Funding from the study was provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.

The search for a new test to fastback diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injuries may prove beneficial to veterans of military conflicts as well as car accident and sporting accident victims.

The TRACK-TBI study found that among the 90 people with the highest traces of the brain-specific protein, 64 percent were found to have a traumatic brain injury by the MRI scan. For the 90 people with the lowest levels of protein, about 8 percent were found to have an injury.

Tests using the blood-based biomarkers could be used to highlight which group of people should receive further MRI screenings to detect a mild traumatic brain injury.

The study used the blood analyzer device called i-STAT Alinity made by the company Abbott. It is available in other countries but not yet commercially sold in the United States.

Talk to a Virginia Trial Lawyer About a Traumatic Brain Injury

At the Smith Law Center, we have a long track record in representing people who suffered traumatic brain injuries in accidents. Attorney Stephen Smith was a pioneer of these kinds of cases. Please call us for a free consultation as soon as possible at (757) 244-7000.

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There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

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