THIS series involves 87 blast-damaged ear drums, most of which were seen less than seventy-two hours after injury. In none of the cases was there any evidence of thermal or chemical burn. There was no gross contamination with gasoline, oil, water or dirt. The incidents occurred over a period of four months, so that they constituted a running series rather than an overwhelming load of patients all at one time. The causative weapon was primarily the German V-1 flying bomb, with 12 injuries from breech explosions of 90 mm. guns, 2 from V-2 rocket bomb, 1 from artillery and 1 from a teller mine. Essentially the causative factor in each case was an uncomplicated severe compression wave.
The opportunity is rarely presented for one observer to see an appreciable number of blast-damaged ear drums soon after their injury, and particularly to follow them for any period of time.1 The
RICE AH. BLAST PERFORATION OF THE EAR DRUM. Arch Otolaryngol. 1949;49(3):316–330. doi:10.1001/archotol.1949.03760090075006