Blurred front lines: Triage and initial management of blast injuries

George C. Balazs, Micah B. Blais, Eric M. Bluman, Romney C. Andersen, Benjamin K. Potter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recent armed conflicts and the expanded reach of international terror groups has resulted in an increased incidence of blast-related injuries in both military and civilian populations. Mass-casualty incidents may require both on-scene and in-hospital triage to maximize survival rates and conserve limited resources. Initial evaluation should focus on the identification and control of potentially life-threatening conditions, especially life-threatening hemorrhage. Early operative priorities for musculoskeletal injuries focus on the principles of damage-control orthopaedics, with early and aggressive debridement of soft-tissue wounds, vascular shunting or grafting to restore limb perfusion, and long-bone fracture stabilization via external fixation. Special considerations such as patient transport, infection control and prevention, and amputation management are also discussed. All orthopedic surgeons, regardless of practice setting, should be familiar with the basic principles of evaluation, resuscitation, and initial management of explosive blast injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-311
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Blast injury
  • Damage-control orthopedics
  • Triage


Dive into the research topics of 'Blurred front lines: Triage and initial management of blast injuries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this