Polytrauma occurs when a person experiences injuries to multiple body parts and organ systems often, but not always, as a result of blast-related events. TBI frequently occurs in polytrauma in combination with other disabling conditions, such as amputation, burns, spinal cord injury, auditory and visual damage , spinal cord injury (SCI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other medical conditions. Due to the severity and complexity of their injuries, Veterans and Service Members with polytrauma require a high level of integration and coordination of clinical care and other support services.
Major advances in protective gear and medical technology have increased the survival rates of US Service Members sustaining severe multiple injuries, or polytrauma in recent combat operations. Recognizing early on the importance of providing coordinated and comprehensive rehabilitation services to support recovery from polytrauma, VA developed a specialized Polytrauma System of Care. The hallmark of care for polytrauma is a patient-centered, interdisciplinary approach that works with the injured individual and his or her family to address all aspects of the injury as it impacts the person’s life.