A blast injury is a complex type of physical trauma resulting from direct or indirect exposure to an explosion. Blast injuries range from internal organ injuries, including lung and traumatic brain injury (TBI), to extremity injuries, burns, hearing, and vision injuries.
To define the scope of injuries caused by exposure to blast, the Department of Defense (DoD) adopted the Taxonomy of Injuries from Explosive Devices, which is codified in Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 6025.21E and provides a common framework for characterizing blast injuries within the DoD. This taxonomy assigns blast injuries to five categories—Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Quaternary, and Quinary—based on the mechanism of injury.
Note: The existence of concussions caused by the primary mechanism of blast alone, without secondary or tertiary head impacts, is a topic of continuing debate within the scientific community.
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