Rocketman! ED Guide to blast injuries

You are called by EMS to the bedside of a recently arrived patient who presents with shortness of breath from his home after he was attempting to have his own fireworks show. He had periscoped the event on his twitter feed with the hashtag, “waketheneighbors,  however, he had an old iPhone 5 that didn’t have a good zoom function, so he ended up being close to the fireworks as they prematurely detonated. He was knocked backwards and lost consciousness. EMS arrived and found him with headaches, tinnitus and blood from his right ear. Which of the following is true?

A. Lack of otological damage basically excludes serious blast injury to other organs

B. Steroids have been shown to reduce mortality from pulmonary blast injury

C. Lung contusions are the most common form of lung injury

D. Tertiary blast wave injury is the most common cause of death.


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Blake Briggs