From Big Medical Encyclopedia

EXPLOSION — instant allocation of very large amount of energy in limited volume. The person long since uses V.'s energy in production and the military purposes, meets V. at emergencies on production, and also in life. For V. the powerful energy source and an impulse is necessary for its instant release. To V. this energy is in the latent, potential form.

At V. of chemical explosive substances and gas mixtures energy is emitted due to bystry chemical transformations of substance with formation of heat and heated compressed gases. To cause V. of all mass of a blasting charge, it is necessary to provide start of reaction of explosive decomposition in a certain, small part of a charge in the beginning. Function of start is carried out by the initiating explosive substances in the form of the detonators containing very small charge of highly effective explosive substance with high sensitivity to influence: at the azotistovodorodny lead applied as a detonator, this weight makes 1 mg, at trotyl (trinitrotoluene) — tens of milligrams. Century of a detonator usually make by means of a safety (bickford) fuse, an impulse of electric current, strong mechanical blow, etc.

At nuclear V. energy is emitted as a result of chain nuclear reactions: divisions of atomic nuclei of heavy elements (uranium, plutonium) or synthesis of atomic nuclei of helium from light elements (heavy hydrogen, lithium). At nuclear V. on the basis of fission tests per unit mass of substance it is marked out in 20 million times, and on the basis of synthetic reactions — in 100 million times more energy, than at V. of trotyl (see. Nuclear weapon ).

Microscopic by the sizes B. receive at radiation of a number of materials powerful light pulses, napr, from optical quantum generator (see). Can arise at powerful electric discharges century, including and atmospheric electricity, and also as a result of transition of a motive energy in thermal at blows about strong barriers of bodies with a big mass and high speeds of the movement (the movement of avalanches and collapses in mountains, falling of meteorites on the Earth's surface etc.).

Fig. 1. Expansion of explosive gases and formation of an air shockwave: 1 — the compressed layer of air; 2 — explosive gases. Fig. 2. Formation of a shockwave: 1 — the front of a shockwave; 2 — the compressed (condensed) area; 3 — the field of depression.

At V. in air explosive gases, intensively extending, extend extensively and form a zone of the compressed and warmed air (a zone, or a wave, compression, fig. 1 — 3), pressure in a cut at explosions of chemical explosive substances can reach more than 100 thousand kg/cm 2 , temperature — tens of thousands of degrees, and at nuclear V. — hundreds of thousands of kg/cm 2 and tens of millions of degrees respectively. The moving zone of compressed air is called an air shockwave, and its front border — the front of a shockwave. Pressure in the front of a shockwave instant jump increases to a maximum, and the speed of the movement exceeds sound.

When explosive gases reach the maximum expansion, pressure in the zone occupied by them falls below atmospheric, and speed approaches zero. The air shockwave comes off them and continues to extend further by inertia. At the same time behind the compression section there is a zone (wave) of depression, pressure in a cut becomes lower atmospheric, and the layer of compressed air adjoining to it begins to extend and move in the direction opposite to the movement of a shockwave (fig. 2).

Fig. 3. Mechanism of action of an air shockwave of explosion. And — the schematic diagram of explosion: 1 — the atmospheric pressure of air; 2 — excessive pressure in the front of a shockwave; 3 — the front of a shockwave; 4 — a phase of compression of a shockwave; «5 — a phase of depression of a shockwave; 6 and 7 — the direction of the movement of air in phases of compression and depression; a white arrow — the direction of distribution of a shockwave; the front of a shockwave 3 and (the basis of a tree) did not approach a point, pressure here atmospheric. The B — the front of a shockwave reached a point and (the beginning of a stage of immersion); pressure in a point sharply increased. In — the front of a shockwave passed a point and (a stage of a flow); pressure in a point decreased a little (the tree bent in the direction of distribution of a shockwave). — pressure in a point and was made even to atmospheric; influence of a phase of compression of a shockwave is finished (the tree became straight). D — pressure in a point and became lower atmospheric (a phase of depression); the movement of air changed on opposite (the tree bent in the same direction). E — pressure in a point and was leveled with atmospheric — the phase of depression ended (the tree became straight).

Thus, in impact of a shockwave on the objects which are found on its way two phases (fig. 3) are characteristic: a phase of compression (an object in a zone of compressed air) and a phase of depression (an object in a zone where pressure is lower than atmospheric). Duration of these phases is very short-term and is measured in milliseconds.

The shockwave — the main carrier of energy of V. transferred to the environment, and its major physical characteristic is excessive pressure in the front — ΔР f (kg/cm 2 ).

Behind the front of a shockwave with high speed the compressed air creating a high-speed (dynamic) pressure ΔР moves sk (kg/cm 2 ). Owing to power losss in the environment in process of removal of a shockwave from the center B. excessive pressure in its front falls, speed decreases to the speed of a sound and the wave turns into sound. Parameters of a shockwave of any, including nuclear, V. submit to the law of similarity. It means that sizes ΔР f and other parameters are identical as equals the provided distances from the center (epicenter) of V. which find as R, private from division, / ∛ Q where R — distance (in m or km) from the center (epicenter) of explosion, Q — the amount of energy of explosion proportional to weight of the blown-up charge and expressed through a trotyl equivalent (the weight of a charge of trotyl in kg or t, energy to-rogo is equal to energy of this explosion). Using the law of similarity, it is possible to calculate at what distances excessive pressure in the front, the high-speed pressure or other parameters of a shockwave will have identical value at V. of charges, different in weight. Despite unity physical. the nature of a shockwave, nuclear V. surpass in V.'s power of conventional ammunition in hundreds of thousands — billions of times and generate a shockwave, incommensurably big on energy, extent in space and time and consequently, and on destructive force. Thereof the shockwave of an order, nuclear on about 2 — 3 V., exceeds duration of action of a shockwave from V. of conventional ammunition and is capable to inflict at smaller sizes of excessive pressure defeats on much big removals from the center B. So, according to P. I. Burenin (1973), lethal injuries of people from direct action of a shockwave of nuclear V. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place at ΔР f apprx. 2,4 kg/cm 2 , and at V. of aviation bombs they were observed at 14 — 21 kg/cm 2 .

The physical characteristic of V. in water and soil is qualitatively similar to V. in air. Differences consist in parameters and features of development of a wave pattern. Owing to practical incompressibility and bigger density of the environment at V. in water excessive pressure in the front of a shockwave is much higher, and rate of propagation 4,5 times bigger, than at V. in air.

At underground V. so-called seismoblast waves similar with observed at earthquakes which rate of propagation by 10 — 12 times exceeds the speed of an air shockwave are formed.

The traumatic defeats caused by a shockwave and degree of their weight are in direct dependence on the size of excessive maximal pressure ΔРмакс in the front of a shockwave, the area, on to-ruyu it works, building-up period of pressure to a maximum τнар and durations of action (duration of a phase of compression) τ+. However increase in duration of a phase of compression, according to Richmond and Whyte (D. R. Richmond, Page S. White, 1962), strengthens the striking action of a shockwave only to a certain limit — 400 ms. Further increase τ + at invariable values ΔР f does not lead to strengthening of the striking effect any more.

Therefore the heaviest damages can arise during the finding of people on the open area in a standing position, i.e. under conditions when the area of a body of the person, on to-ruyu works a shockwave, will be maximum, equal 0,75 zh2, the front of a shockwave is accurately expressed and excessive pressure in it instantly reaches a maximum (τ plank beds = 0). Less dangerous damages should be expected in a prone position (legs or the head to explosion) since in this case the area of impact of a shockwave on the person will make only 0,12 m 2 .

Extent of the striking action of a shockwave considerably decreases if excessive pressure in the front increases rather slowly (τ plank beds >0), what is observed at penetration («flowing») of a shockwave into protective constructions through entrances, hatches, embrasures and other openings, and also in cases when the reflective barrier gets in the way of a shockwave. However, if the shockwave gets into shelters through open entrances, the probability of severe injuries sharply increases owing to possible discarding of the people who are at an entrance, and blow, them about surrounding objects. According to Glesston (S. Glasstone, 1965), extent of defeat of people in this case can increase also as a result of multiple reflection of the flowing wave from walls of a construction and stupeneobrazny increase in excessive pressure.

The striking action of an air shockwave on the bodies which are on the open area in the period of a phase of compression includes two consecutive stages: immersion of a body in a wave and its flow (fig. 3). Immersion takes a time slice the moment of contact of the front of a wave with a body to its full flow. Duration of this stage depends on the sizes of a body and at a supersonic speed of a shockwave is insignificant is small (the tenth shares of milliseconds). At the initial moment on the body surface turned to V., there is a reflected pressure ΔРотр, by 2 — 8 times exceeding ΔР f . As a result of people has total front and tangent blows, and also concussion of all body. The size of a shock load at the same time can reach hundreds of units of g. At the same time the shockwave owing to dominance in its range of high frequencies easily generates the longitudinal, cross, superficial waves of compression and deformations in deep tissues of a body of the person which are followed by two types of the damaging effects: splitting and inertial. The splitting effects are caused by the stretching efforts at reflection, refraction and an interference of waves on limits of the section of the fabrics having different density. Stratifications and ruptures of a vascular wall, and also hemorrhages, typical for injuries from V., in lungs on the course of edges can be an example of such damages. Destruction of structures due to inertial effects happens owing to a difference of local shock loads in the neighboring sites of the fabrics having the unequal weight and specific density.

The flow matching on time action of a phase of compression of a wave τ+ exceeds duration of a stage of immersion in tens-hundreds (at V. of conventional ammunition) and tens of thousands of times (at nuclear V.) and therefore causes more considerable deformations of bodies, fabrics and a body in general. During this period of people is exposed to preferential influence of a high-speed (dynamic) pressure of mass of air. At the same time the body surface turned to V. experiences the maximum load equal to the sum of pressure of reflection and a high-speed pressure, lateral faces — only loading from excessive pressure in the front of a shockwave, and back — smaller. This difference of pressure creates the horizontal displacing force directed from the center B. In the course of a flow of a body a flow of compressed air depression of the last over a body becomes slightly higher, than under it thanks to what elevating power is formed. Combined action of the displacing and lifting external forces causes discarding of a body or the so-called throwing effect especially characteristic of a shockwave of nuclear V. Poslednyaya is capable to discard the person on tens and hundreds of meters whereas at usual V. even of rather big power throwing action of a shockwave (a high-speed pressure) is limited only to a zone of scattering of products of a detonation. A shockwave, especially nuclear V. in the conditions of the city, destroying on the way buildings, trees and other objects, it is also capable to scatter their fragments on very long distances with speeds, commensurable with a speed of scattering of splinters of artillery shells and air bombs which can cause various secondary damages.

A phase of depression of a shockwave owing to small in comparison with atmospheric the pressure decrease (which is not exceeding 0,2 — 0,3 kg/cm 2 ), does not make the subsequent its smooth increase and rather short-term impact of the noticeable injuring effect.

The damages caused by V. which it is accepted to call an explosive injury can be subdivided into three look: primary (direct), secondary and tertiary. Primary damages arise from immediate effect by a shockwave and are caused by excessive pressure in it (see. Contusion ); secondary (wounds, bruises) — as a result of influence of the splinters flying from the destroyed objects which were in a zone of explosion, and tertiary — from blows of a body of the person about the soil and other barriers which were found on the way of discarding.

Century quite often is followed by infrasonic fluctuations and powerful (to 150 — 160 dB) pulse noise (see. Noise ), capable to cause acute acoustic injury (see).

Listed biophysical, the phenomena in various ratios are to some extent inherent in the majority of defeats from V., and character and extent of their striking action on a human body depend on specific conditions of influence: distances, power and V.'s type, and also degree of security. So, e.g., preferential primary damages are most typical for

V. of chemical explosive substances which shockwave is characterized small (from units to tens of milliseconds) by duration of a phase of compression.

At nuclear V. which shockwave is characterized considerably bigger (hundreds-thousands of milliseconds) by duration of a phase of compression there are severe combined injuries which components can be primary, secondary and tertiary damages, and also burns in combination with radiation injuries (see. the Combined defeats , Radial illness , Beam damages ).

Along with the specified three types of an explosive injury at V. poisonings with nedookislenny products of explosive substances (carbon monoxide gas, nitric oxides, methane, cyanic connections, hydrogen sulfide) are possible, and at explosions at the industrial enterprises — poisonous products of production if they get to the environment (see. Poisonings ), burns the heated explosive gases and air (see. Burns ). Poisonings with explosive gases are possible also during the blasting in mines.

The morphological and clinical picture of an explosive injury is very various.

Primary damages by a shockwave are followed usually by injuries of a head and spinal cord, acoustic organs, an abdominal cavity and a breast. In a brain small vessels and capillaries are generally damaged, is more often in soft and firm covers, roots of a spinal cord and formations of extrapyramidal system. These changes can be complicated in the subsequent by disturbances of local blood circulation, education and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, swelling and wet brain that in turn promotes dystrophic changes of nervous cells, fibers and a glia (see. Contusion of a brain ).

In lungs owing to ruptures of interalveolar partitions and damage of capillaries the hemorrhages varying over a wide range are noted: from the small extravasates alternating with emphysema to the extensive drain centers, a full gepatization of a share and even the whole lung. The most typical localization of hemorrhages is the costal surface of lungs.

Hemorrhages in a mesentery and retroperitoneal cellulose, anguishes of mucous, muscular covers of a stomach and intestines which can be followed by clinic of an acute abdomen that, by data I. A. Krivorotova (1949), in last world war was frequent a reason for a laparotomy take place.

A considerable part of the damages caused by a shockwave of nuclear explosion can be followed by the closed fractures of bones of extremities, a basin, the arch and base of skull, ruptures of internals with massive hemorrhages and bleedings.

Very often hemorrhages in frontal and paranasal sinuses, and also ruptures of tympanic membranes take place (see. Barotrauma ). Extreme vulnerability of an ear is explained by the fact that the maximum of its mechanical sensitivity lies in the area 1500 — 3000 Hz, the shockwave matching a range.

Experience of last wars showed that the external picture B. quite often causes psychoneurotic frustration in people. It is possible to assume that using nuclear weapon the number of such faces will sharply increase in war.

At integral assessment of the striking action of an air shockwave of V. of any power, including nuclear, it is necessary to consider possibility of primary, secondary and tertiary damages. Their ratio will depend on power, a type of explosion, distance from its center (epicenter), degree of security of people and conditions of distribution of a shockwave (a land relief, existence and the nature of building, vegetation, season, weather conditions, etc.).

Primary defeats by a shockwave are most often characterized by existence of the general accident and contusional syndrome, in Krom signs of the closed brain injury, bodies of a breast and stomach prevail. For convenience it is accepted to allocate easy, heavy and fulminant forms of an explosive injury on severity.

Easy forms of an explosive injury are characterized by quickly taking place disorders of hearing and the speech, lack of neurologic symptoms and signs of disturbance of functions of internals. Treatment comes down to providing struck rest, to purpose of symptomatic means and in the conditions of military operations can be carried out in medical - a dignity. battalions or hospitals of the front.

The severe form of an explosive injury is followed by a loss of consciousness from several hours to several days. In days of the Great Patriotic War this symptom occurred at 80% contused. At victims pallor of the person, later cyanosis, the slowed-down small pulse, frequent shallow breathing, bleeding from a nose, ears, throats, disturbance of swallowing, hypersalivation, relaxation of sphincters is noted. Further sharp lability of pulse, a Crocq's disease, a chill along with perspiration, a surdomutism and other alalias and hearing takes place; decrease in visual acuity, disturbance of color sensation, perception of a form and perspective are sometimes noted, retrograde amnesia is possible. Paresis of extremities is observed seldom, only at an injury of the head. Occasionally there come paresis and paralyzes of a facial nerve, usually on side of the injured middle ear. On the side of a body turned to V., bruises sometimes are formed, there is rash, bubbles owing to a bruise of skin, muscle tension, sensitivity goes down. The tonic spasms, epileptiform attacks, attacks of psychomotor excitement reminding hysterical are possible. At damage of lungs — an asthma, stethalgias, cough, a pneumorrhagia, symptoms of acute lung expansion, is more rare — consolidations of pulmonary fabric and change of a pleura. The tendency to increase in arterial pressure is characteristic that in some cases leads to a persistent hypertension, and also to increase in venous pressure. On an ECG the sinus bradycardia, a respiratory arrhythmia, persistent ventricular premature ventricular contraction are found. Sometimes contused complain of nausea, loss of appetite up to full anorexia; at some, on the contrary, appetite increases (bulimia). The meteorism, diarrhea, incontience of gases, persistent vomiting are occasionally possible. At direct impact of a shockwave on area of a stomach the muscle tension of an abdominal wall even in the absence of a rupture of hollow bodies can take place. In blood often find a moderate neutrophylic leukocytosis, and in certain cases a leukopenia, a lymphopenia with delay of ROE. The nocturia, Poll a kiuriya, a microhematuria is sometimes noted. In the subsequent picture of frustration the phenomena of a vegetative and diencephalic syndrome are, as a rule, brightly expressed: disturbances of the emotional sphere, dream, thermal control, secretory and exchange functions, vasculomotor shifts, hyperhidrosis.

Such victims need long hospitalization, a cut in the conditions of military operations can be carried out in hospitals of the front or back of the country. Treatment shall be complex and include absolute rest, lumbar punctures, purpose of sedatives, vitamins and other measures, depending on clinical manifestations of defeat. So, at the phenomena of acute traumatic insufficiency of breath it is necessary to remove blood and slime from an oral cavity, a nose and airways, to appoint oxygen; at the phenomena of the beginning hypostasis of a brain early dehydrational therapy (intravenous administration of glucose, diuretic means) is shown. At suspicion on injury of a brain and internals, the expressed pain syndrome, a complication of an explosive injury by shock, blood loss, a collapse it is necessary to hold events of acute medical aid and operative measures according to indications, fight against blood loss and shock. In cases of a resistant surdomutism the specialized treatment including psychotherapy, occupations with the logopedist, use of some pharmacological means like prozerin, Eserinum is necessary.

The forecast at a severe form of an explosive injury depends on the nature of the leading defeat caused by influence of a shockwave or the related secondary and tertiary bruises. At a favorable current recovery occurs in several months. In especially hard cases some of the frustration mentioned above can remain for years and patients turn into disabled people.

The fulminant form of an explosive injury is characterized by deep coma, a frequent low pulse, disorder of breath, muscle tension, a stomatorrhagia, a nose and ears. Kontuzhenye, as a rule, perish in the next few hours after an injury, without regaining consciousness. Shock and acute blood loss, an air embolism of heart and vessels of a brain, acute oxygen insufficiency owing to a fluid lungs and obstruction of respiratory tracts, acute vascular insufficiency and hypostasis of a brain are clots the most frequent reasons of deaths. Death from a stop of cordial activity as a result of direct action of a shockwave on area of heart is possible. Actions of acute management for vital indications shall be directed to fight against shock, blood loss and other phenomena, life-threatening.

Secondary damages at an explosive injury are very various on localization. They can be presented bruises (see), wounds of soft tissues (see. Wounds , wounds), the closed and open fractures of bones (see. Changes ), combined, including and getting, wounds of a skull (see. A craniocereberal injury), damages of bodies of a breast, stomach, a basin (see. Thorax , Breast , Stomach , Taz , and also articles on bodies, e.g. Stomach, damages; Intestines, damages; Lungs, damages, etc.) and to become complicated bleeding (see), traumatic shock (see), a syndrome of long crush (see. Traumatic toxicosis ).

Character and weight of secondary defeats depend on the shock speed, weight, density, a form, localization and the angle of contact with a body of the person of secondary shells. At rather big motive energy even splinters of glass are capable to wound, getting into a cavity of a stomach, a breast and a skull. At nuclear V. especially heavy secondary damages to conditions of the city should be expected in a zone of destruction of buildings where injuries from blows by larger fragments are possible.

Tertiary damages from the throwing action of a shockwave characteristic of nuclear V., are typical for cases of an open arrangement of people on the area though they are possible also in shelters, especially cracks and entrenchments. At the beginning of discarding of people is exposed to influence of positive accelerations with the sharp shift of parts of a body and internals, and then, at the time of blow about soil, experiences local action of immeasurably big negative accelerations representing a maximum of danger.

Weight of the defeats arising at the same time is defined by ballistics of discarding, shock speed and a number of arbitrary factors (localization of blow, a corner and character of a surface of collision). Depending on specific conditions tertiary damages, as well as secondary, can be very different, reminding the injuries observed at free fall or transport accidents.

At nuclear V. secondary and tertiary defeats will arise at considerable distances from V.'s epicenter, and, therefore, on big squares, than primary. For this reason victims with defeats of this category will probably make rather big specific weight among a dignity. and irrevocable losses.

The clinical picture and the forecast of secondary and tertiary defeats depend on the leading defeat, a cut defines also character and contents to lay down. actions. The last shall be directed first of all to elimination of the phenomena, life-threatening.

Defeats by a shockwave of underwater V. of the people who appeared in water (afloat) represent heavy and extremely severe forms of primary injury with dominance of the closed injuries of abdominal organs and retroperitoneal space, a basin — up to ruptures of a liver, stomach, intestines, spleen, kidneys, a bladder, large vessels, etc. Victims, as a rule, quickly perish if it is not possible to lift them from water and to render the emergency medical aid. Crews of the ships at underwater V. usual (mines, torpedoes) or nuclear ammunition can have a so-called mine and torpedo injury caused by sharp concussion of the case and other designs of the ship. It kliniko-morfol. signs can be very various. However in these cases always take place of damage of a musculoskeletal system in the form of fractures of a shin and bones of foot, including calcaneal, and also the closed damages of bodies of a basin, a stomach, are more rare than a breast. Also tertiary injuries owing to blows of people about the deck and the equipment of the ship, and also falling overboard are possible.

At underground V. if it is followed by emission of soil and an exit of an air shockwave to the Earth's surface, there are, as a rule, primary and secondary injuries; if underground V. is not followed by these phenomena, then the damages to people caused by it are similar to the defeats observed at earthquakes (see).

Protection against V. is carried out in various ways, and in a fighting situation first of all by the engineering equipment of the area occupied by troops. Entrenchments, cracks, blindages, shelters (see), and also fighting vehicles (tanks, armored personnel carriers) considerably reduce influence of a shockwave from V. of conventional ammunition and a little to a lesser extent of nuclear Century. In actual practice a fighting situation there can sometimes be enough time for passive protection against action of a shockwave (e.g., to lay down the head or legs towards explosion), if to consider that at the 0,1 — 1 million t nuclear V. the shockwave overcomes distance in 3 — 8 km for 6 — 20 sec. (see. Protection against means of war of defeat , Antinuclear protection ).

In conditions of production and during the carrying out explosive works for V.'s prevention it is necessary to carry out strictly established safety regulationss (see. Blasting ), and in life — service regulations household, hl. obr. gas, devices.

Explosion in the medicolegal relation

Damages, poisonings and other diseases of the person in a result in. become an object court. - medical examinations when case of V. which arose under production conditions or a household situation is investigated. Depending on the factors operating at V., disturbances of health or the death of the person are connected with a mechanical injury, thermal influence, effect of chemical substances or a combination of action of these factors. Disorder of health of the person or his death can be a consequence of immediate effect of an air shockwave; the combined action of this wave and various firm, blunt and sharp objects moving together with it and putting damages as blows with significant force; blows of a body of the person with a big force about blunt, tupogranny and sharp objects during the discarding or rapid falling under the influence of a shockwave; prelums of a body of the person various heavy firm objects; prelums of a thorax and a stomach loose substances (e.g., at collapses of rocks in connection with blasting); combinations of such prelum to simultaneous closing of a mouth and nose or gleam of respiratory tracts; actions of a flame and the heated gases; poisonings with poisonous light-end products of explosion. In examination of the mechanism of disturbances of health of the person or approach of his death in connection with V. the phenomena arising directly from influence of the shockwave have special value.

At nonlethal damages victims can be subjected regularly court. - to medical survey for establishment of severity of disturbances of health and disability.

In cases of approach of death in connection with V. corpses of the investigation authorities which died under the resolution are exposed court. - to a medical research. Great expert value for understanding of all set of the phenomena which led to various damages at V. has inspection of the scene with participation of that court. - the medical expert, survey of the victim or a research of a corpse is entrusted to Krom.

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