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November 1957

Blast Injuries in Air and Water

Author Affiliations

U. S. Army

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(5):715-716. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280170025012

The most commonly seen symptoms are those of shock, dyspnea, cyanosis, chest and abdominal pain, cough, and hemoptysis. Shock is a universal finding, and in many cases it is profound. Dyspnea is present in all cases, but usually subsides after 24 hours unless complications appear. Chest pain is frequent and associated with respiratory movements. In severer cases, a deep central pain is noted, and it is thought that this derives from mediastinal hemorrhages. Cough with production of blood-stained sputum, appearing after 24 hours, is seen in all but the mildest cases. Free hemoptysis is rarer. All dead or dying patients have blood-stained froth in the nose and mouth. Abdominal pain with rigidity may be a predominant symptom. In those operated on after air-blast injury, punctate subserosal hemorrhages are the usual findings. It is felt that the abdominal pain is on the basis of irritation of the lower intercostal vessels and

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