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Imaging Important in Treating Boston Marathon Injuries
Imaging should be performed quickly to assess damage and determine treatment

MONDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Blast injuries within civilian populations such as the Boston Marathon bombings should immediately be imaged by radiology or computed tomography to quickly assess damage and determine the course of treatment, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Noting that rheumatologists, orthopedists, rehabilitation professionals, and musculoskeletal radiologists may need to act as first responders after an incident such as the Boston Marathon bombing, Ali Guermazi, M.D., Ph.D., from the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues examined the role of radiologic imaging in the emergency response to blast injuries.

The researchers note that survivors of bombings most frequently have injuries to soft tissue and musculoskeletal systems, with traumatic amputation in up to 3 percent of blast victims. They recommend that each extremity be examined systematically for musculoskeletal, neurological, and vascular injuries. Since radiography and computed tomography images can be acquired quickly, they should be used to detect bone and tissue damage as well as foreign objects embedded in the body. Surgery should be performed immediately in urgent cases.

"The cases presented in this article illustrate imaging features of some of the serious injuries that occurred in the Boston Marathon blast," Guermazi and colleagues write. "We suggest that in these urgent situations, radiology resources should be used liberally and promptly to allow swift assessment and patient management including life- and limb-saving treatment."

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August 1, 2014

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