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Marines, coalition receive MRI machine in Helmand province

18 Oct 2011 | Cpl. Adam Leyendecker

Marines and their coalition partners who suffer concussions, brain injuries, or joint and tissue damage, are now able to be evaluated and diagnosed locally in Helmand province since the arrival of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine at Camp Leatherneck, Oct. 5.

Concussions are one of the most common injuries suffered by coalition forces in Helmand, said Capt. Jeffrey W. Timby, surgeon for Regional Command Southwest.

“The machine will help to diagnose and understand the head injuries troops are experiencing, said Timby, a native of Wallingford, Pa. “The majority of Marines who suffer mild concussions recover without further therapy, but this machine will help us find out why a category of Marines don’t seem to recover as quickly.”

About a year ago, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, made it a priority to ensure that American troops had all the tools they needed medically to be successful.

“Having the MRI machine gives us that opportunity,” said Timby.

The machine will be kept at the Camp Bastion Role III hospital. Medical personnel say that locating it at the camp will be advantageous to coalition forces since Bastion is where radiologists work and that it will be safer for patients to have the machine located inside the medical facility.