PTSD Combat is no longer being updated.

Find Ilona blogging at Magyar Etimológia and Etymartist.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gulf War Syndrome: The Media's Got it Wrong

A headline today for a piece in the Chicago Sun-Times declares VA report: There is no Gulf War syndrome. Other headlines echoed much the same thing ever since an Institute of Medicine report was released earlier this week. Paul Davidson from the National Gulf War Resource Center yesterday issued a press release in response, and I've been asked to pass it along to you.

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for more...

For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Davidson
Sept 12, 2006 816-531-7183

Gulf War Veterans question VA, IOM, media assessment
of IOM report

Gulf War Veterans are questioning how today’s headlines became “There is no Gulf War Illness,” as a result of the Institute of Medicine report released earlier today.

“I read this report: it states that many veterans suffer from a group of as-yet-unexplained symptoms, and that veterans of the Gulf War of 1991 are about twice as likely as others to suffer this condition,” said Julie Mock of Seattle. Julie is President of Veterans of Modern Warfare, and she was an Army Dental Assistant deployed to the Gulf War. “It is reprehensible for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to distort its own report into the misleading implications which I saw reported as news today.”

The Institute of Medicine released volume IV of its review of medical literate relative to gulf war veterans’ health today. A single sentence on page 214 of the report, states that “there is no symptom complex peculiar to deployed Gulf War veterans.”

The previous 12 pages of text and following four pages of tables summarize a number of studies published over the last ten years which analyze “Unexplained Illness,” concluding that about 30% of Gulf War Veterans now experience or previously experienced this condition, and that is double the rate of occurrence among non-deployed veterans of the same period.

“Why would the VA, the IOM, or the Media turn this report into a story about a semantics argument over ‘Gulf War Illness’ vs. ‘Unexplained Illness’,” said
Cheyne Worley of Kansas City, an Army supply sergeant in the Gulf War and current President of the National Gulf War Resource Center. “This report clearly [shows] that three out of ten of us are sick, and that our sickness is most likely related to our service in the Gulf.”

In addition to recognizing the prevalence of “Unexplained Illness” among Gulf War Veterans, the OIM report also recognizes ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and CFS-like illnesses, six birth defects (in the children of Gulf War veterans), atopic dermatitis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression as conditions significantly more likely among Gulf War veterans than among non-deployed veterans.

The report recommends Pre-deployment and Post-deployment Screening, Exposure Assessment, and Surveillance for Adverse Outcomes related to specific conditions such as cancer, ALS, and birth defects.

After reviewing the recommendations, Worley stated, “It is disturbing that in 2006, the Institute of Medicine is presenting, as the first of three recommendations, the implementation of the same tracking system which Congress mandated in Public Law 105-85 (The National Defense Authorization Act of 1997) nine years ago.”

“Is the IOM implying that the Department of Defense is ignoring the law, that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Global War on Terror, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom are not being given the medical examinations and blood sampling they were promised by Congress, to ensure we don’t re-create all the unanswered questions of the Gulf War?”

Mock discussed the rest of the IOM recommendations: “We agree with the recommendations that the report makes, although most of them are needs we have identified for many years now.”

“It is disappointing that, with solid evidence of undiagnosed illness in the report, and many gaps in research identified, the Institute of Medicine does not make a stronger call for more research into the causes, treatment, and possible diagnosis of the illness or illnesses which it says are disabling hundreds of thousands of American and allied veterans, including many besides those who served in the Gulf War. Instead, we have headlines saying that ‘Gulf War Illness does not exist’.”


Public Law 105-85, Sec. 765 (Source: )

(a) SYSTEM REQUIRED.—(1) Chapter 55 of title 10, United States

Code, is amended by inserting after section 1074e (as added by section 764) the following new section:

§ 1074f. Medical tracking system for members deployed overseas

(a) SYSTEM REQUIRED.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a system to assess the medical condition of members of the armed forces (including members of the reserve components) who are deployed outside the United States or its territories or possessions as part of a contingency operation (including a humanitarian operation, peacekeeping operation, or similar operation) or combat operation.

(b) ELEMENTS OF SYSTEM.—The system described in subsection

(a) shall include the use of predeployment medical examinations and postdeployment medical examinations (including an assessment of mental health and the drawing of blood samples) to accurately record the medical condition of members before their deployment and any changes in their medical condition during the course of their deployment. The postdeployment examination shall be conducted when the member is redeployed or otherwise leaves an area in which the system is in operation (or as soon as possible thereafter).

(c) RECORDKEEPING.—The results of all medical examinations conducted under the system, records of all health care services (including immunizations) received by members described in subsection

(a) in anticipation of their deployment or during the course of their deployment, and records of events occurring in the deployment area that may affect the health of such members shall be retained and maintained in a centralized location to improve future access to the records.

(d) QUALITY ASSURANCE.—The Secretary of Defense shall establish a quality assurance program to evaluate the success of the system in ensuring that members described in subsection (a) receive predeployment medical examinations and postdeployment medical examinations and that the recordkeeping requirements with respect to the system are met.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Want to stay connected? You can subscribe to PTSD Combat via Feedburner or follow Ilona on Twitter.
Later/Newer Posts Previous/Older Posts Return Home

2011: Jan Feb
2010: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2009: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2007: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2005: Sept Oct Nov Dec

Legal Notice

The information presented on this web site is based on news reports, medical and government documents, and personal analysis. It does NOT represent therapeutic prescription or recommendation. For specific advice and information, consult your health care provider.

Comments at PTSD Combat do not necessarily represent the editor's views. Illegal or inappropriate material will be removed when brought to our attention. The existence of such does not reflect an endorsement.

This site contains at times large portions of copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This material is used for educational purposes, to forward understanding of issues that concern veterans and military families. In accordance with U.S. Copyright Law Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. More information.