Weapons effects
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Weapons Effects. Overview. Epidemiology of Injuries Mechanism of Injury Antipersonnel Landmines Small Arms. Epidemiology of Injuries. Two Major Categories of Weapons Explosives: artillery, grenades, mortars, bombs, hand grenades Small Arms Fire: pistols, rifles, machine guns

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Weapons Effects

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Weapons effects

Weapons Effects


Overview

Overview

  • Epidemiology of Injuries

  • Mechanism of Injury

  • Antipersonnel Landmines

  • Small Arms


Epidemiology of injuries

Epidemiology of Injuries

  • Two Major Categories of Weapons

    • Explosives: artillery, grenades, mortars, bombs, hand grenades

    • Small Arms Fire: pistols, rifles, machine guns

  • Most common pattern or injury is multiple small fragment wounds of extremities


Mechanism of injury projectiles

Mechanism of Injury: Projectiles

  • There are two areas of projectile-tissue interaction

    • Permanent cavity: localized area of tissue injury that is proportional to the size of the projectile

  • Temporary cavity: Transient displacement of tissue, which occurs after passage of the projectile.

    • Elastic tissue, such as skeletal muscle, blood vessels and skin, may be pushed aside after passage of the projectile, but then rebound.

    • Inelastic tissue, such as bone or liver, may fracture in this area.


Mechanism of injuries explosives

Mechanism of Injuries: Explosives

  • Explosives have three mechanisms of injury:

    • Ballistic

    • Blast

    • Thermal


Mechanism of injury

Mechanism of Injury

  • Ballistic:

    • Injuries caused by fragments created by explosives

    • Typically cause multiple wounds

  • Blast

    • This occurs more closely to the explosion compared to ballistic injury

    • The ears are most often affected by the overpressure, followed by lungs and gastrointestinal organs.

    • The explosion creates a blast wind that can throw victims against solid objects, causing blunt trauma.

  • Thermal

    • The result of combustion, may cause burns


Antipersonnel landmines

Antipersonnel Landmines

  • Tree types of antipersonnel landmines

    • Static

    • Bounding

    • Horizontal spray


Antipersonnel landmines1

Antipersonnel Landmines

  • Static: small landmines that detonate when stepped on and result in 2 types of injury

    • Partial or complete traumatic amputation

    • More proximally, tissue and other debris is pushed up along fascial planes, stripping tissue from bone


Antipersonnel landmines2

Antipersonnel Landmines

  • Bounding: a mine that is propelled to 1-2m in height and then explodes, causing multiple small fragment wounds. This type of mine is associated with the highest mortality.

  • Horizontal spray mines: propel fragments in one direction, causing multiple small fragment wounds


Small arms

Small Arms

  • In the past, differentiation made between HI and LOW velocity weapons but now felt not to be totally different entities.

  • Change to higher velocity weapons a result of change to smaller and lighter automatic weapons

  • Automatic weapons more effective

    Most combat actions < 200 meters

    Most infantry not great marksman

  • Smaller, lighter ammo developed

    Less recoil, better aim

    Each soldier can can carry more rounds


Small arms cont

Small Arms (cont)

  • To maintain wounding power, higher bullet velocities were necessary

  • Higher velocities developed to increase FIREPOWER, not wounding power (same)

  • Always potential for higher energy transfer with higher velocity, but this is not always the case

  • Surgeon should always be concerned with the individual wound, rather than the “worst case scenario”


Fragmentation expansion

Fragmentation/ Expansion

  • Some missiles are designed to fragment or expand

    Dum-dums, Hollow-points, Non-jacketed, Some fragments despite copper jacket (M-16)

  • Fragments cause multiple tracts of permanent and temporary cavities

  • Expansion makes the permanent cavity wider


Weapons effects

Yaw

  • Yaw is the deviation in the longitudinal axis of the bullet from its line of flight (tumbling)

  • Yaw is usually 180 degrees and can be caused by striking foliage or tissue

  • It increases the area of permanent and temporary cavitation

  • Important in the injuries caused by AK-47, AK-74


Shotgun injuries

Shotgun Injuries

Shotgun shells have a big powder charge with a large mass of lead balls

  • Destructive potential depends on range

  • At close range, it can cause a large wound with severe disruption of anatomy by direct crush alone

  • Long range (>25m) cause usually only skin wounds

  • Wadding is a projectile too


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