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Military experts provide civilian surgeons with guidance on handling bomb blast injuries
Date:11/22/2010

Hospitals all over the world need to be aware of how to treat emergency blast injuries and military surgeons can provide valuable knowledge and advice to their civilian counterparts based on their experience of battlefield injuries. That is the driving force behind two papers published online by BJS, the British Journal of Surgery.

"The current inquest into the 2005 London bombings - and the recent international security alerts - provide a timely reminder that surgeons could be called on at a moment's notice to deal with blast injuries" says consultant surgeon Mr Jonothan Earnshaw, joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal. "That is why we believe that these papers are required reading for any surgeons who could find themselves dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack."

Military surgeons from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, UK, reviewed all cases of vascular trauma in battle injured service personnel over a five-year period ending January 2008. They used data collated by the Joint Theatre Trauma Registry, which covers all members of HM Armed Forces who have received acute trauma care as a result of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They found that 110 of the 1,203 patients sustained injuries to named vessels and that 60 per cent died before there was an opportunity for surgical intervention, including all 25 patients who sustained major vascular injuries to the abdomen or thorax.

Just under half of the 76 soldiers who suffered vascular injuries to their upper or lower limbs survived long enough for surgery, with one post-operative death among the 37 patients. Interventions on 38 limbs included 15 amputations, four vessel litigations and 19 definitive limb revascularisation procedures. Four of these latter procedures were not successful, leading to three further amputations.

"Amputation or vessel litigation is often required to control damage or save
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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