Description: Experimental data regarding the biologic consequences of exposure to several environmental variations associated with actual and simulated explosive detonations were reviewed. Blast biology is discussed relative to primary, secondary, tentiary, and miscellaneous blast effects as those attributable, respectively, to variations in environmental pressure, trauma from blast-produced missiles (both penetrating and nonpenetrating), the consequences of physical displacement of biological targets by blast-produced winds, and hazards due to ground shock, dust, and thermal phenomena not caused by thermal radiation per se. Primary blast effects were considered, noting physical-biophysical factors contributing to the observed pathophysiology. A simple hydrostatic model was utilized diagrammatically in pointing out possible etiologic mechanisms. The gross biologic response to single. "fast"-rising overpressures were described as was the tolerance of mice, rats, guinea pigs. and rabbits to "long"-duration pressure pulses rising "rapidly" in single and double steps. Data regarding biological response to "slowly" rising over-pressures of "long" duration are discussed. Attention was called to the similarities under certain circumstances between thoracic trauma from nonpenetrating missiles and that noted from air blast. The association between air emboli, increase in lung weight (hemorrhage and edema), and mortality was discussed. Data relevant to the clinical symptoms and therapy of blast injury are presented. The relation of blast hazards to nuclear explosions was assessed and one approach to predicting the maximal potential casualties from blast phenomena is presented making use of arbitrary and tentative criteria. (auth)
Date: September 18, 1959
Creator: White, C.S. & Richmond, D.R.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department