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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2011 Jan 27;366(1562):144-59. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0240.

Blast injury research models.

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Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK.


Blast injuries are an increasing problem in both military and civilian practice. Primary blast injury to the lungs (blast lung) is found in a clinically significant proportion of casualties from explosions even in an open environment, and in a high proportion of severely injured casualties following explosions in confined spaces. Blast casualties also commonly suffer secondary and tertiary blast injuries resulting in significant blood loss. The presence of hypoxaemia owing to blast lung complicates the process of fluid resuscitation. Consequently, prolonged hypotensive resuscitation was found to be incompatible with survival after combined blast lung and haemorrhage. This article describes studies addressing new forward resuscitation strategies involving a hybrid blood pressure profile (initially hypotensive followed later by normotensive resuscitation) and the use of supplemental oxygen to increase survival and reduce physiological deterioration during prolonged resuscitation. Surprisingly, hypertonic saline dextran was found to be inferior to normal saline after combined blast injury and haemorrhage. New strategies have therefore been developed to address the needs of blast-injured casualties and are likely to be particularly useful under circumstances of enforced delayed evacuation to surgical care.

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