Selected Topics: Disaster Medicine| Volume 54, ISSUE 5, P645-650, May 2018

An Impaled Potential Unexploded Device in the Civilian Trauma Setting: A Case Report and Review of the Literature



      The management of patients with impaled unexploded devices is rare in the civilian setting. However, as the lines of the traditional battlefield are blurred by modern warfare and terrorist activity, emergency providers should be familiar with facility protocols, plans, and contact information of their local resources for unexploded devices.

      Case Report

      A 44-year-old male sustained a close-proximity blast injury to his lower extremities while manipulating a mortar-type firework. He presented to the regional trauma center with an open, comminuted distal femur fracture and radiographic evidence of a potential explosive device in his thigh. His management was coordinated with the local Explosive Ordinance Disposal and the fire department.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Explosive devices pose a grave threat when encountered. Familiarization with protocols to manage these patients can mitigate disaster. Emergency providers should expect and be prepared to coordinate care for these patients.


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