If you are know you are going to get caught in a bomb scenario.
Keep your mouth open and shallow breath through an open mouth in half breaths.
The worse effect of an explosion is blast, shallow breathing decreases the likelihood of damage to your lungs from blast ‘over pressure”.
Your main ‘killer’ weak points are your lungs, kidneys, liver, and bowels.
These are easily damaged by concussion and penetrating wounds.
Protect your eyes. If you are blind you cannot see to escape.
As for our ears? Eyes first folks, but if you have ear plugs or two free hands, use them.
If a bomb goes off, hit the deck!
Generally it’s like lightning, the flash comes before the boom.
Get under substantial cover as fast as you can to protect yourself from falling debris.
Sometimes the blast can take time to reach you as it rebounds off surfaces.
Most explosives blow upwards and outwards.
Terrorists are sneaky little shits too, expect a secondary explosion.
Having said that, the first blast may have fractured gas pipes and with fire, it could initiate a second or even multiple blast. This could occur at any time after the first blast.
Current advice is to stay in cover for a couple of minutes after the last boom unless ordered to move or the scenario forces that movement.
Stay away from anything glass
Stay away from gas, fuel, electrical, and other fire hazards.
If you are in a high-rise, don’t use elevators or escalators.
Once out of the blast area move well away from buildings.
NEVER move towards a blast sight, there could be secondary devices. (see below)
If the blast does not hurt you, the products of the detonation and destruction can cause you long-term damage. Think about that and your personal protection.
Protect your lungs! Don a mask to protect yourself from airborne contaminates. If you have a basic PPE kit, don it as soon as you can, MASK FIRST!
Don’t eat or drink. Airborne contaminates can poison both.
Never use a naked light and avoid using anything electrical like phones, radio’s or electrical lighting. Sometimes explosive vapour has non smell and be set burning by sparks. Secondary devices can be triggered by spurious radio transmissions.
There is a second sort of blast to be aware of.
This is a blast which will be weak in nature, probably non destructive, and may produce clouds of smoke or vapour.
This may be a chemical, radiological (dirty bomb), or a biological bomb.
What ever you do, run away from that smoke / vapour.
Try to run into the wind (if appropriate) and gain HIGH GROUND as soon as possible.
‘Most’ of the dispersed poisons do not rise far and will follow the wind however they may also be heavier than air so will descend into lower areas.
General categories of blast injuries.
Primary blast injury is organ and tissue damage caused by the blast, crush, and heat.
Secondary injuries are caused by flying objects (penetrating and cutting) and falling debris (Glass, bricks, and other building material).
Tertiary injuries are caused by you being thrown around and hitting things.
The last area of damage is caused by “everything else”.
So what can you do about these sort of injuries?
Cuts (even severe ones), bruises, and minor burning are treatable with a low-level of knowledge. Debris in eyes can be washed out. Amputations may call for tourniquets.
This is the sort of level most can cope with if you have basic to advanced first aid training.
Some may be thinking in multiple injuries scenarios about triage.
Today that’s a complex business and needs skills to assess correctly.
Historically it was:-
- Those who are unlikely to live, regardless of what care they receive
They get Pain control until death.
Standard battle pack dosage is 5 mg / 10 minutes until pain relief is achieved.
Doses of morphine over 200 mg are considered to be lethal to an average person.
Agree with this or not, I don’t care, but sometimes a bullet is merciful.
- Those for whom immediate care might make a positive difference in outcome
They should get the full range of support and intervention available.
- Those who are likely to live, regardless of what care they receive
Dressings and sticky plasters, antibiotics, general first aid.
In more modern times, simple tagging of injuries is available for rapid mass assessments.
A typical example is METTAG. Colour coded tagging system.
Quick review, Black=Death or no hope, Red= Evac ASAP, Yellow= Evac required, Green = No Evac necessary. (Told you it was quick).
BUT ON THE SCENE treating internal injuries from blast and shrapnel penetrating wounds (including gunshot wounds) effectively is almost impossible without:-
- Adequate visualisation and diagnostic equipment,
- ER/Theatre level facilities, equipment and medical supplies,
- Blood for transfusions,
- Pain killers, anaesthetics, antibiotics, and other drugs
- VERY advanced medical training.
No matter what some gun hoe ex-spurts say, field level knowledge will not be enough to deal with split organs or internal bleeding even if you are a doctor.
The injured need a proper medical facility.
Realistically anyone hurt that way will need evacuation to a hospital / trauma unit ASAP.
Signs of internal bleeding (but not limited to, and some symptoms may be missing):-
Abdominal pain and/or swelling
Pissing, shitting, or vomiting blood.
Light-headedness, dizziness, or fainting once enough blood is lost.
Decreasing alertness, loss of response
Unequal pupil size
Nausea / vomiting without blood
Lowering blood pressure (difficult to gauge without a ‘meter’)
A faster and faster pulse
Only in an austere or typical post apocalyptic world where there are no hospitals.
At best you may only find a nurse, doctor, or best of all a veterinary.
A veterinary? Yep, they are well used to stitching up internals in animals and no matter how you think, we’re all animals!
One other thing is certain.
Any major internal injury will require copious amounts of antibiotics.