Development of serial bio-shock tubes and their application.
OBJECTIVE: To design and produce serial shock tubes and further examine their application to experimental studies on blast injury. METHODS: Bio-medical engineering technique was used for the design and development of the serial shock tubes. One thousand four hundred and fifty nine animals (757 rats, 105 guinea pigs, 335 rabbits, 240 dogs and 22 sheep) were then used to test the wounding effects of the shock tubes. RESULTS: Three types of bio-shock tubes, that is, large-, medium- and small-scale shock tubes were made in our laboratory. The large-scale shock tube is 39 meters long; the inner diameter of the test section is 1 meter; and the maximum overpressure in the driving section is 10.3 MPa. A negative pressure could be formed by means of the reflected rarefactive wave produced by the end plate. The medium-scale shock tube is 34.5 meters long; the maximum overpressure in the driving section is 22 MPa; the test section is designed to be a knockdown, showing 5 basic types with inner diameter of 77 to 600 millimeters, which could be used for researches on overpressure, explosive decompression, underwater explosion, and so on. The small-scale shock tube is 0.5 meter long with the maximum endured overpressure of 68.6 MPa. Results from animal experiments showed that this set of shock tubes could induce various degrees of systemic or local blast injury in large or small animals. CONCLUSIONS: This set of bio-shock tubes can approximately simulate typical explosive wave produced by nuclear or charge explosion, and inflict various degrees of blast injury characterized by stability and reproducibility. Therefore, they can meet the needs of blast research on large and small animals. (+info
Effect of type and transfer of conventional weapons on civilian injuries: retrospective analysis of prospective data from Red Cross hospitals.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the link between different weapons used in modern wars and their potential to injury civilians. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data about hospital admissions. SETTING: Hospitals of the International Committee of the Red Cross. SUBJECTS: 18 877 people wounded by bullets, fragmentation munitions, or mines. Of these, 2012 had been admitted to the hospital in Kabul within six hours of injury. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Age and sex of wounded people according to cause of injury and whether they were civilians (women and girls, boys under 16 years old, or men of 50 or more). RESULTS: 18.7% of those injured by bullets, 34.1% of those injured by fragments, and 30.8% of those injured by mines were civilians. Of those admitted to the Red Cross hospital in Kabul within six hours of injury, 39.1% of those injured by bullets, 60.6% of those injured by fragments, and 55.0% of those injured by mines were civilians. CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of civilians injured differs between weapon systems. The higher proportion injured by fragments and mines is explicable in terms of the military efficiency of weapons, the distance between user and victim, and the effect that the kind of weapon has on the psychology of the user. (+info
Circumstances around weapon injury in Cambodia after departure of a peacekeeping force: prospective cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the circumstances surrounding weapon injury and combatant status of those injured by weapons. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Northwestern Cambodia after departure of United Nations peacekeeping force. SUBJECTS: 863 people admitted to hospital for weapon injuries over 12 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Annual incidence of weapon injury by time period; proportions of injuries inflicted as a result of interfactional combat (combat injuries) and outside such combat (non-combat injuries) by combatant status and weapon type. RESULTS: The annual incidence of weapon injuries was higher than the rate observed before the peacekeeping operation. 30% of weapon injuries occurred in contexts other than interfactional combat. Most commonly these were firearm injuries inflicted intentionally on civilians. Civilians accounted for 71% of those with non-combat injuries, 42% of those with combat related injuries, and 51% of those with weapon injuries of either type. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of weapon injuries remained high when the disarmament component of a peacekeeping operation achieved only limited success. Furthermore, injuries occurring outside the context of interfactional combat accounted for a substantial proportion of all weapon injuries, were experienced disproportionately by civilians, and were most likely to entail the intentional use of a firearm against a civilian. (+info
Prevention of skin and soft tissue entrapment in tibial segment transportation.
We report of a ten year old patient with soft tissue damage and bone defect of the tibia as a sequel of osteomyelitis. After excision and stabilization with an Ilizarov fixateur segment transportation was started. In order to avoid skin and soft tissue entrapment in the docking region, we used a metal cage as a space provider, which was shortened as segment transportation progressed. To our knowledge this simple method has not been described so far. (+info
Mine blast injuries: ocular and social aspects.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Landmines have long been used in conventional warfare. These are antipersonnel mines which continue to injure people long after a ceasefire without differentiating between friend or foe, soldier or civilian, women or children. This study focuses on Afghan non-combatants engaged in mine clearing operations in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Russo-Afghan war. The patterns and types of injuries seen are described and experiences in their management, ways, and means to prevent them, and recommendations for the rehabilitation of the affected individuals are given. METHODS: It is a retrospective and analytical study of 84 patients aged 19-56 years who sustained mine blast injuries during mine clearing operations in Afghanistan from November 1992 to January 1996. The study was carried out at a military hospital with tertiary care facilities. The patients were divided into three groups on the basis of their injuries. Group 1 required only general surgical attention, group 2 sustained only ocular injuries, while group 3 had combined ocular and general injuries. Patients in groups 2 and 3 were treated in two phases. The first phase aimed at immediate restoration of the anatomy, while restoration of function wherever possible was done in subsequent surgical procedures in the second phase. RESULTS: It was observed that 51 out of 84 patients (60.7%) had sustained ocular trauma of a variable degree as a result of the blasts. The mean age of the victims was 29 years and they were all male. A total of 91 eyes of 51 patients (89.2%) had been damaged. Bilaterality of damage was seen in 40 (78.4%) patients. Most, 34 (37.3%), eyes became totally blind (NPL). Only a few escaped with injury mild enough not to impair vision. Foreign bodies, small and multiple, were found in the majority of eyes; most, however, were found in the anterior segment, and posterior segment injuries were proportionally less. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of blindness caused by mine blast injuries is quite high. The resulting psychosocial trauma to the patients and their families is tremendous and has not been adequately highlighted. These injuries are a great drain on the country's resources. Enforcement of preventive measures and the use of protective gear and sophisticated equipment by the mine clearing personnel would prove to be far more economical in terms of human life as well as medical and economic resources. There is also need for greater attention towards the establishment of support groups and rehabilitation programmes for these individuals. (+info
Injuries from fireworks in the United States.
Fireworks traditionally are used in the United States to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 8500 persons in the United States are treated in emergency departments each year for fireworks-related injuries (1). Of all fireworks-related injuries, 70%-75% occur during a 30-day period that surrounds the July 4th holiday (June 23-July 23) (2). Seven of every 100 persons injured by fireworks are hospitalized, approximately 40% of those injured are children aged < or = 14 years, and males are injured three times more often than females (1). The injury rate is highest among boys aged 10-14 years (3). Most commonly, injuries from fireworks affect the hands (34%), face (12%), and eyes (17%) (4). Injuries are more frequent and more severe among persons who are active participants than among bystanders (3). (+info
High rate of candidemia in patients sustaining injuries in a bomb blast at a marketplace: a possible environmental source.
In this study, a cluster of candidemia among patients sustaining injuries in a bomb blast at a marketplace was investigated by means of a multivariate analysis, a case-control study, and quantitative air sampling. Candidemia occurred in 7 (30%) of 21 patients (58% of those admitted to the intensive care unit [ICU]) between 4 and 16 days (mean, 12 days) after the injury and was the single most frequent cause of bloodstream infections. Inhalation injury was the strongest predictor for candidemia by multivariate analysis. Candidemia among the case patients occurred at a significantly higher rate than among comparable trauma patients injured in different urban settings, including a pedestrian mall (2 of 29; P=. 02), and among contemporary ICU control patients (1 of 40; P=.001). Air sampling revealed exclusive detection of Candida species and increased mold concentration in the market in comparison with the mall environment. These findings suggest a role for an exogenous, environmental source in the development of candidemia in some trauma patients. (+info
Effect of epidermal growth factor and dexamethasone on explosive deafness.
OBJECTIVE: To study the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on cochlear hair cells of normal and explosion-stricken guinea pigs and the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and dexamethasone (DXM) treatment for blast hearing loss. METHODS: Immunohistochemical technique and auditory brainstem response (ABR) test were used. RESULTS: Scattered expression of EGFR was seen in inner hair cells (IHCs) and outer hair cells (OHCs) in normal guinea pigs. Segmentally distributing positive reaction was also located in stereocilia of hair cells. Distribution of EGFR reaction was seen in the cytoplasm of IHC 24 hours after exposure to blasts, and in the stereocilia of IHC and the cuticular plate of OHC 72 hours postexposure. At one week EGFR reaction in hair cells increased obviously and part of OHC stereocilia also showed positive reaction. EGFR reaction reduced at two weeks, though positive reaction could still be found in the stereocilia of hair cells at one month. Combination of EGF and DXM administrations promoted hearing recovery significantly. CONCLUSIONS: The healing of injured hair cells may be related to EGF. (+info