Latest Research
Explosions and blast related injuries
Aug 5, 2008 - 3:59:37 AM

There has been a rise in global terrorism against nonmilitary targets. Recent events in Oklahoma City, New York City, Madrid, London, and Mumbai have demonstrated that mass casualties are more likely from explosive devices than from biological, chemical, radioactive, or nuclear weapons. Editors Nabil M. Elsayed, James L. Atkins and Nikolai Gorbunov have assembled an impressive list of international experts in the mechanisms and treatment of blast related injuries in this timely book.

This authoritative text begins with a section on the epidemiology of blast and explosion injuries which details issues of triage, morbidity and mortality, as well as clinical experiences treating casualties at combat support hospitals. The next section covers the pathology and pathophysiology of blast injuries on the lungs and nervous system as well as quaternary blast effects resulting in burns. In a section devoted to primary research on the mechanisms of primary blast injuries, there are chapters devoted to computational modeling of lung blast injuries and the biochemical mechanisms primary blast injuries to include the role of free radicals and oxidative stress and the inflammatory response in primary blast injuries. The final section of the book relates global experiences of blast injuries and their mass casualty management.

Other than the physicians who have treated trauma victims in settings such as Iraq and Afghanistan, few physicians in the United States have been trained in the care of the injured blast victim or have taken care of patients who have sustained injuries from explosions. The assessment of acute injuries from blast is still poorly understood and no reliable prognosticators of blast injuries currently exist. While this text is not meant to serve as a text for the treatment of blast-related injuries, it is meant to provide a better understanding of explosion blast injury mechanism which will in turn help in the design of better protective armor and improve medical care.

Co-Editor Colonel (retired) James L. Atkins, M.D., PhD stated he was thrilled we were able to assemble such a qualified international group of contributors for the book. This shows this is a worldwide problem, not just a military problem Dr. Atkins also added that These threats are constantly changing and it is important that medical professional recognize the patterns of blast related injuries and the inflammatory response precipitated by blast injuries that may take up to 48 hours to manifest. He hopes this book helps clinicians and researchers understand what is already known about blast injuries and that in turns helps to guide the treatment of mass casualties resulting in blast related injuries.

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