Emerging Consciousness Program
Disorders of consciousness (DOC) is a state of impaired consciousness or awareness as a result of damage to the complex network of neuronal circuits responsible for maintaining wakefulness (Giacino et al. 2014). DOC can be classified into three broad categories, which include coma, vegetative state, or minimally conscious state (Giacino et al. 2002). Due to advancements in military armor and battlefield medicine, an unprecedented number of service members were surviving the conflicts but with increased morbidity (Gawande 2004; Owens et al. 2008). The Veterans Health Administration (VA) recognized a growing number of service members returning with severe brain injury in a DOC state and therefore in 2006 developed the VA Emerging Consciousness Programs (ECP) at the lead Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (PRC) located in San Antonio, TX; Palo Alto, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Richmond, VA; and Tampa FL (McNamee et al. 2012) with each one of the VA PRCs being a CARF-accredited brain injury...
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