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Ballistic and blast injuries 

Ballistic and blast injuries
Ballistic and blast injuries

Jason Smith

, Ian Greaves

, and Keith M Porter

Page of

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date: 21 May 2022

Pathophysiology of ballistic wounding 408

Mechanism of wound production 410

Presentation and initial management of ballistic wounds 414

Blast injury 418

Clinical and pathological effects of explosions 422

Principles of management 424

Further reading 426

Ballistics is the study of the motion of projectiles. Bullets fired from a gun have three phases of ballistic motion beginning with events within the barrel through to the interaction with the target, or terminal ballistics. If the target is living tissue then the subject is known as wound ballistics. All forms of injury occur because of transfer of energy to the victim and ballistic wounding is no exception. It is, perhaps, the archetypal example of energy transfer causing injury. The energy of a moving missile—its kinetic energy (KE)—is given by the equation:...

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