Sports First Responder Level 3 (VTQ)

201 videos, 10 hours and 55 minutes

Course Content

Blast Injuries

Video 108 of 201
3 min 23 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Understanding the Impact of Blast Injuries on Casualties


Blast injuries, often underestimated in their prevalence, can result from various incidents such as explosions in bombs, house fires, or cylinder fires. It's crucial to assess the distance, nature, and severity of the blast wave to understand its effects on casualties.

Primary Blast Wave

The initial blast wave emanating from the explosion's epicenter can cause significant damage, including:

  • Ruptured Organs: Eardrums, livers, kidneys, and lungs may sustain severe damage due to the rapid pressure wave.
  • Fatal Consequences: Particularly in cases involving large bombs or explosions, the primary blast wave can be fatal.

Secondary Wave (Debris Fragmentation)

Following the primary blast wave, casualties may encounter the secondary wave composed of debris and shrapnel:

  • Projectile Impact: High-speed debris propelled by the explosion can cause extensive injuries upon impact.
  • Speed and Impact: Debris fragments can reach speeds of up to 1000 miles per hour, posing a significant threat to casualties.

Tertiary Shockwave (Vacuum Effect)

The tertiary shockwave results from the vacuum created by the blast:

  • Rearward Pressure: The rush of air and particles backfilling the vacuum can exert force on internal organs, particularly the liver and lungs.
  • Unique Risks: Effects such as overpressure causing lung rupture or oxygen depletion due to vacuum suction illustrate the diverse dangers of the tertiary shockwave.


Blast injuries, characterized by primary, secondary, and tertiary waves, pose significant risks to casualties' lives and internal organs. Understanding the multifaceted nature of blast injuries is crucial for effective management and treatment.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit three LO3.1, 3.2, 3.3 & 3.4