Primary Blast Injuries
There are four different types of injuries that can occur after a blast
or explosion. The four categories are typically used to diagnose a soldier's
condition in military combat after he or she is at the scene of an explosion,
but the categories apply in all blast injury situations.
The four different types of blast injuries include the following:
- Primary Injuries
- Secondary Injuries
- Tertiary Injuries
- Quaternary Injuries
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, primary blast injuries
happen due to the over-pressurization force of the explosion. The over-pressurization
force is known as the blast wave, which is the extreme force that can
cause injury during an explosion. When this wave impacts the body surface,
it can do significant damage to the organs and parts of the body that
are filled with gases. Some common injuries from the over-pressurization
are explained below.
Ear Injuries / TM Ruptures
The tympanic membrane (TM) is located in the inner ear. If the TM is perforated
or ruptures due to trauma or a blast wave, it can be incredibly painful
and may lead to permanent deafness. Sometimes, the TM rupture is referred
to as a ruptured eardrum. When a person has this condition, X-rays show
a hole or tear in the thin tissue that separates your ear canal from your
middle ear. In addition to facilitating hearing loss, a TM rupture can
lead to infections in the middle ear because it will suddenly be exposed.
Sometimes, a TM rupture can heal on its own but victims may need surgical repair.
Sometimes a blast wave can lead to a pulmonary contusion, which is an injury
to the lung. This can lead to odema or blood collecting in the alveolar
spaces. As a result of this injury, the lungs may lose their structure
or ability to function, which can lead to severe health complications
and even death in some situations.
This condition is categorized as a blunt lung injury and develops over
24 hours. It will lead to increased pulmonary vascular resistance; Trauma.org
claims that it will also cause poor gas exchange and decreased lung compliance.
About 50 to 60% of all people who suffer a pulmonary contusion develop
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
Some victims who suffer lung damage from a blast will suffer from air embolism.
This happens when there is a bubble in the bloodstream. While a bubble
may sound harmless, air embolisms can have symptoms ranging from chest
pain to sudden death. The CDC reports that air embolism can result in
a stroke, blindness, spinal cord injury, claudication, or MI.
Abdominal / Hollow Viscus Injuries
Gas-filled structures within the body such as the stomach and colon are
susceptible to a primary blast injury. Anyone who has pain in the abdominal
area or suffers from nausea and vomiting after being near the site of
a blast may be affected by an abdominal injury of this kind. The organs
in the abdominal area can rupture or internal lacerations can occur because
of the force of the blast.
Blast injuries can often affect the eye. In some cases, the globe of the
eye will rupture, leaving a victim in extreme pain or permanently blind.
It is very important keep in mind that eye injuries of this nature may
be gradual. You may have a simple irritation of the eye at the outset
and eventually suffer vision loss if the situation is not checked out
immediately. Individuals can also receive corneal abrasions, conjunctivitis,
and suffer open globe injuries that penetrate or perforate the cornea
and sclera. About 20 to 60% of all blast related eye injuries involve
an eyelid laceration as well.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
In some cases, you may suffer a brain injury that is not related to a blunt
force trauma accident. While most brain injuries (such as concussions)
happen when a person strikes their head, the over-pressurization at a
blast site may also facilitate this injury. Like a blunt force trauma
brain injury, victims should take this injury seriously and seek medical
attention as soon as possible to ensure there will not be permanent damage
from the blast concerning the brain and mental faculties.
Hire an Industrial Injury Lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP
If you want more information about primary injuries or if you are suffering
from a diagnosed primary injury because of an industrial
plant explosion then you need to talk to an
industrial injury attorney at Arnold & Itkin immediately.