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Polytrauma/TBI System of Care


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Admission Criteria

Injured Veterans

Any Veteran entitled to benefits (discharge from military service under other than dishonorable conditions) and medically stable is eligible for admission into the Polytrauma System of Care.

The patient must:

  • Have sustained multiple physical, cognitive, and/or emotional injuries secondary to trauma;
  • Not require one-to-one staffing for medical or behavioral reasons;
  • Not require a ventilator to breathe;
  • Have potential to benefit from rehabilitation; or
  • Need an initial, comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation and care plan

If you believe that you may have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), contact your local VA and ask for the Polytrauma/TBI Point of Contact. TBI care in the VA is available throughout the entire Polytrauma System of Care, which includes the 5 Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers, 5 Polytrauma Transitional Rehabilitation Programs (PTRP), 23 Polytrauma Network Sites (PNS), 87 Polytrauma Support Clinic Teams (PSCT) and 39 Polytrauma Points of Contact (POC).

Injured Servicemembers

Servicemembers injured while training and serving in the active duty military typically receive their first medical care in a Department of Defense (DoD) Military Treatment Facility (MTF). For those injured in battle, medical care usually involves evacuation from theater to an MTF abroad (e.g., Landstuhl Army Medical Center), followed by transport to a stateside MTF (e.g., Walter Reed National Military Medical Center).

Depending on the severity of the injury, Servicemembers may need Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) services after discharge from the MTF. When medically stable, the most severely injured are often transferred from the MTF to one of 5 VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (PRC) for acute, inpatient rehabilitation. Prior to transfer to a PRC, the teams at the MTF and PRC work closely together to share information and develop a patient transition plan.