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Injury profile suffered by targets of antipersonnel improvised explosive devices: prospective cohort study.
BMJ Open (2017)
  • Shane A Smith, The Univeristy of Western Ontario
  • Melissa Devine
  • Joe Taddeo
  • Vivian C. McAlister
To describe pattern 1 injuries caused by the antipersonnel improvised explosive device (AP-IED) in comparison to those previously described for antipersonnel mines (APM).
Prospective cohort study of 100 consecutive pedestrian victims of an AP-IED, with traumatic amputation without regard for gender, nationality or military status.
Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.
One hundred consecutive patients, all male, 6-44 years old.
The details of injuries were recorded to describe the pattern and characterise the injuries suffered by the target of AP-IEDs. The level of amputation, the level of soft tissue injury, the fracture pattern (including pelvic fractures) as well as perineal, gluteal, genital and other injuries were recorded.
Victims of AP-IED were more likely, compared with APM victims, to have multiple amputations (70.0% vs 10.4%; p<0.001) or genital injury (26% vs 13%; p=0.007). Multiple amputations occurred in 70 patients: 5 quadruple amputations, 27 triple amputations and 38 double amputations. Pelvic fracture occurred in 21 victims, all but one of whom had multiple amputations. Severe perineal, gluteal or genital injuries were present in 46 patients. Severe soft tissue injury was universal, with injection of contaminated soil along tissue planes well above entry sites. There were 13 facial injuries, 9 skull fractures and 3 traumatic brain injuries. Eleven eye injuries were seen; none of the victims with eye injuries were wearing eye protection. The casualty fatality rate was at least 19%. The presence of more than one amputation was associated with a higher rate of pelvic fracture (28.6% vs 3.3%; p=0.005) and perineal-gluteal injury (32.6% vs 11.1%; p=0.009).
The injury pattern suffered by the target of the AP-IED is markedly worse than that of conventional APM. Pelvic binders and tourniquets should be applied at the point of injury to patients with multiple amputations or perineal injuries.

  • improvised explosive device,
  • war crime
Publication Date
August, 2017
Citation Information
Shane A Smith, Melissa Devine, Joe Taddeo and Vivian C. McAlister. "Injury profile suffered by targets of antipersonnel improvised explosive devices: prospective cohort study." BMJ Open Vol. 7 Iss. 7 (2017) p. e014697
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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC International License.