Occupational Asthma Reference

Scott TE, Johnston AM, Keene DD, Rana M, Mahoney PF, Primary Blast Lung Injury: The UK Military Experience, Mil Med, 2019;usz453:,https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usz453

Keywords: blast injury, military, uk

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:
Primary blast lung injury occurs when an explosive shock wave passes through the thorax and transits through tissues of varying densities. It requires close proximity to an explosion and presents quick with respiratory distress in survivors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The Joint Theatre Trauma Registry and the Defence Statistics (Health) Database were interrogated for casualties injured as a result of an explosion during the conflict in Afghanistan. The case notes and imaging of casualties meeting the criteria for diagnosis were reviewed. Demographic and clinical data on casualties with primary blast lung injury were analyzed.

RESULTS:
848 blast-exposed casualties survived to discharge from intensive care, and 238 blast-exposed casualties were killed in action. Following exclusions, 111 case notes and all postmortem reports were reviewed in detail. About, 25 casualties had isolated primary blast lung injury (2.9% of casualties surviving to discharge from intensive care) and 31 nonsurvivors (13% of nonsurvivors) had the disease documented at postmortem. Severe cases of primary blast lung injury required an estimated average of 4.5 days of conventional mechanical ventilation.

CONCLUSIONS:
8.1% of blast exposed casualties suffered primary blast lung injury. It was a less severe disease than other nontraumatic forms of acute lung injury and did not cause deaths once a casualty had reached a combat support hospital. It was well managed with a relatively brief period of conventional mechanical ventilation.

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