Steven G. Scott, Heather G. Belanger, Rodney D. Vanderploeg, Jill Massengale, Joel Scholten. Mechanism-of-Injury Approach to Evaluating Patients With Blast-Related Polytrauma. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2006;106(5):265–270. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.5.265.
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Civilians and military personnel alike are increasingly being exposed to explosives in war zones and other regions of political conflict and, consequently, they are suffering associated blast-related polytrauma (multiple complex injuries). Although acute, emergency-based medical care for patients with blast-related trauma has been well described, postacute clinical management—which is of greatest interest to primary care physicians and rehabilitation specialists—has not been well discussed or researched. The authors offer a description of the common injuries seen in patients with blast-related polytrauma, as well as a conceptual model of a potential evaluation and treatment strategy in the postacute setting. Although medical evaluation of a patient typically proceeds in a sequential manner based on primary symptoms, the authors advocate a parallel approach to patient evaluation based on mechanism (cause) of injury. Such an approach relies on knowledge of the typical physical and psychological sequelae associated with a particular mechanism of injury to guide patient assessment and treatment. The authors highlight the mechanism-of-injury approach used with patients who have blast-related polytrauma at the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tampa, Fla, site of one of the VHA's four Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers.
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