Nerve injuries sustained during warfare: part I--Epidemiology.
- R Birch, P Misra, +8 authors J Etherington
- The Journal of bone and joint surgery. British…
Complex hand wounds are an unfortunate consequence of conflict. Increased battlefield survival rates have resulted in an evolving range of ballistic hand trauma encountered by deployed surgical teams, requiring increased knowledge and understanding of these injuries. In the civilian setting, the combined threats of gun crime and acts of terrorism warrant appreciation for such injury among all surgeons. Surgeons often have to relearn the management of ballistic hand trauma and other aspects of war surgery under difficult circumstances because the experiences of their predecessors may be forgotten. Current evidence regarding these injuries is scarce. Ballistic hand trauma is rarely isolated. The demand on surgical resources from combat injury is significant, and it is imperative that a phased strategy be followed in this setting. Minimal, accurate débridement and decompression with early stability are crucial. Delayed primary closure and an awareness of future reconstructive options are fundamental.