Blast Injuries

Blast injuries have become common in civilian disasters and military conflicts.

BLAST INJURIES CAN RESULT FROM:

  • Rocket-propelled grenades.

  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

  • Land mines.

  • Blasts.

  • Motor vehicle crashes.

CAUSES

Blast injuries are injuries that result from a complex pressure wave. This pressure wave is generated by an explosion. Body parts that are especially susceptible to primary blast injuries are:

  • Air-filled organs such as the:

  • Ear.

  • Lung.

  • Gastrointestinal tract.

  • Organs surrounded by fluid-filled cavities. These include:

  • Brain.

  • Spinal column.

In a blast, brain injuries can also occur by other means such as:

  • Impact from blast-energized debris.

  • Being physically thrown.

  • Inhalation of gases and vapors.

SYMPTOMS

Difficulties experienced as a result of a blast injury include post concussion complaints, such as:

  • Decreased memory, attention and concentration.

  • Headaches.

  • Slower thinking.

  • Irritability.

  • Depression.

PROGNOSIS

The outcome of a blast injury depends on the cause of the injury, location, severity, and extent of damage. Outcomes range from good recovery to death. Long term consequences of a blast injury can include:

  • Difficulty concentrating or having a short attention span.

  • Change in personality.

  • Irritability.

  • Headaches.

  • Blurry vision.

  • Sleepiness.

  • Depression.

  • Unsteadiness that makes walking or standing hard to do.