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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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Presentation Transcript
  • 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
  • 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