Management of Explosions and Blast Injuries after Gërdec Tragedy, Albania
Albanian Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
In the last decade, the risk of terrorist attacks has increased largely almost worldwide. In this setting, disaster response personnel must understand the unique physiopathology of injuries as-sociated with explosions and must be prepared to assess and treat the people injured in such tragedies. The ammunition explosion in Gërdec, Vora, just 13 miles from the capital of Albania, Tirana, confronted our country with a real human tragedy with severe casualties. The striking force of the two
... tive explosions resulted in two consecutive earthquakes with respectively an amplitude of 9.2 and 2.5 on the Richter scale. Objective: To explain the classification of explosives and in connection with it to identify the major types of explosive and blast injuries, and the management options in the cases of explosions and blast injuries. Material & Methods: Efforts to dismantle Albania's stockpiles of obsolete munitions took a catastroph-ic turn on March 15th, when a series of explosions occurred as crews were clearing out a storage depot in Gërdec, on 15th of March 2008, at 12:15 AM hours. Gërdec is located 10 km northwest of the capital of Albania, Tirana; near the national highway Tirana-Durres and at a distance of 3-4 km in air line from National Airport. Data presented here were collected from the patients' files in our Trauma UHC and from the official reports from the different governmental offices. Conclusion: The explosive and blast injuries now present a true modern epidemic disease that threat-en the very survival of the free world. A thorough understanding of detonation and blast dynamics by the treating teams is required to better correlate the injury patterns presented. This is also critical for revision of current multiple casualty protocols. It is up to the medical establishment to prepare suitable protocols, coordinate manpower and secure medical resources to successfully handle such events.