Explosive Blasts: A Primer on a Multidimensional Mechanism of Injury
Primary blast injuries are those resulting from the casualty’s exposure to the blast wave following a high-explosive detonation.
Secondary blast injuries are caused by energized debris from the explosion striking the casualty and causing penetrating wounds and/or blunt injuries.
Tertiary blast injuries result from the casualty being propelled by the force of the blast wind.
Quaternary blast injuries include all other injuries, illnesses, or diseases related to the explosion and not included by the preceding three categories.
Understanding basic blast physics and pathophysiology will assist clinicians caring for casualties injured by explosive blasts in not only military but also civilian settings.
KeywordsBarotrauma Blast injuries Military medicine Traumatic brain injuries Wounds and injuries
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