Specificity of the Management of Blast Burns in a Field Setting

Alexander Parashkevov, Georgi Popivanov, Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, Simon Ajderian, Georgi Koutin, Kirien Kjossev, Georgi Popivanov
Burns are accountable for approximately 10% of all injuries in the present conflict in Afghanistan. Due to the high frequency of the penetrating injuries (60-90%) they tend to be underestimated and deployed medical teams are relatively unprepared for them. A small series of 12 blast and 6 conventional burns in Afghans is presented, who were treated by the authors as a forward surgical team in the field hospital in Herat from June to December, 2004. The comparison between blast and civil burns
more » ... t and civil burns revealed a higher incidence of inhalation (5/12 vs 0) and multiple non-burn injuries (9/12 vs 0), reflected in higher Injury Severity Score (12.2 vs 5.7). The face was most frequently affected in blast burns (8/12) versus the extremities in civil ones (5/6); the affected body surface area was 18.7% vs 15.9% respectively. The specificity of the blast burns and burn care in a field setting require good judgement and special training for all deployed surgeons.