There is a new category of devastating injuries facing vets, and these have the potential to cause long-term sexual as well as psychological problems. The number of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with genital injuries has increased, and as a result, these veterans face the possibility of long-term psychological consequences.
Genital injuries are fairly new injuries facing veterans, and the increasing incidence of such injuries is linked to the fact that many veterans now survive devastating blasts. Modern warfare involves the use of powerful improvised explosive devices, and while veterans may survive these explosions, they may suffer severe damage to the groin area and the genitals. With improved explosive devices, the impact is from the ground up, and therefore, veterans may receive the maximum force of these blasts in the genital area.
With such injuries, there is the risk of not just severe blood loss, need for multiple surgeries and complications, but also the possibility for long-term sexual as well as psychological consequences. According to doctors, they are increasingly seeing a number of veterans coming in with severe genital injuries, involving crushing and burning injuries as well as complete amputation of the genitals. The psychological trauma when a veteran suffers such devastating genital injuries is worse than the trauma linked to losing a limb.
According to statistics, there has been a threefold increase in the rate of genital injuries during combat in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan, and the increase has been directly linked to the use of IED’s in these combat zones. Treatment for these veterans maybe long, complicated and very painful, and can continue over several months. There may be complications, infections, and urinary challenges, and very often, these injuries are combined with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the blast.