Author(s): Helling ER, Pfannenstiel TJ
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Abstract A prospective study was designed to determine the incidence of occult head and neck injuries after initial triage of patients following the USS Cole terrorist bombing. All 39 patients evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center underwent comprehensive head and neck examinations, regardless of known diagnoses at the time of arrival. Appropriate interventions were performed, and detailed summaries were added to the patients' records. Initial triage listed nine of 39 patients as having sustained head and neck injuries. After screening by an otolaryngology team, 23 of 39 patients were identified as having head and neck injuries requiring further care. The majority of head and neck injuries were not initially reported to the head and neck trauma service. Our conclusion is that occult head and neck injuries are common after blast injuries. Early identification and intervention by a subspecialty head and neck trauma team can aid in achieving optimal outcomes after blast injury.
This article was published in Mil Med
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access