In recent years, attacks using explosive devices occur frequently, not only on battlefields and in regions of conflict, but also in urban areas in peacetime due to terrorism, resulting in a large number of blast injury victims. The U.S. Department of Defense uses the Taxonomy of Injuries from Explosive Devices (as described in DoDD 6025.21E) to organize blast injuries into five groupings based on their approximate order of temporal incidence upon the body following an explosion. Primary injuries result from the blast shock wave. Secondary injuries result from penetrating fragments of material accelerated by the blast. Tertiary injuries result from accelerative loading or blunt impact to tissues. Quaternary injuries include dermal burns and toxic gas inhalation. Quinary injuries include contamination by nuclear, chemical, or biological agents. Primary injuries that are peculiar to blast shockwave exposures include mild blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI), hearing loss, ocular injury, and lung injury. All body systems are vulnerable to secondary injuries due to penetrating fragments and tertiary injuries due to acceleration and blunt force trauma.
International cross-disciplinary collaboration is regarded as essential to investigate physical causes of blast injury, to characterize the vulnerability of anatomical systems and their functions to blasts, and to develop the means to prevent, mitigate, and treat blast injuries. Countermeasures may include personal protective equipment; weapons and vehicle systems engineered for safety; tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for injury prevention; and medical interventions tailored to the specific needs of blast injuries.
This International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures started as a Technical Information Exchange Forum between Japan and the United States, which brought together broad knowledge and expertise, and to share national experiences and evidence-based approaches for blast injuries. The previous three Japan-U.S. Technical Information Exchange Forum on Blast Injury (JUFBI) were held in June 2016, April 2017, and May 2018 in Tokyo. At the end of JUFBI 2018, the planning committee decided to change the name to International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures to reflect the expanding participation by additional nations such as Australia, Canada, Germany, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
These meetings have been very productive, involving active and fruitful discussions and exchange of creative ideas on a broad spectrum of blast injuries; identifying critical issues involving experimental and computational studies of blast-induced injuries; and creating new partnerships on joint research explorations to address the many scientific and technical challenges facing the field.
Building upon these successful meetings, the next International Forum on Blast Injury Countermeasures (IFBIC) 2019 will be held from Wednesday, May 8 – Friday, May 10, 2019 in McLean, VA, USA.
The objectives for the 4th Forum include:
The meeting agenda includes the following broad topic areas. Innovative research beyond this topic list will also be considered:
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