Development of a blast exposure estimator from a department of defense-wide survey study on military service members

LT Claire M. Modica*, Michael J. Egnoto, Jonathan K. Statz, Walter Carr, Stephen T. Ahlers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-term, repeated exposure to low-intensity blast overpressure is a potential causal factor of lasting outcomes reminiscent of post-concussion syndrome. Wearable blast sensor engineers are exploring elements of blast that are associated with outcomes. Currently, however, there are no devices that can truly record all blasts experienced by an individual. Military service members (n = 984) were surveyed about their lifelong exposure and behavioral health. Using heavy-arms-associated target outcomes, we calculated a generalized blast exposure value (GBEV) for each participant. A threshold of 200,000 GBEV units was established at which a participant was likely to report more intense symptomology. If repetitive, low-intensity blast exposure has even a subtle effect over time, operational readiness could be negatively impacted. A threshold of exposure can inform decisions about how to reduce detrimental exposure. The GBEV can be used to track ongoing exposure and potentially identify those who may be at risk for developing blast-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1662-1669
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • Blast
  • Military
  • Overpressure

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