Imperial Issue 45: Winter 2018-19

Page 22

For soldiers who survive an initial explosion, blast lung is the most common cause of death. Its symptoms include internal bruising, blood vessel damage and haemorrhage – often without obvious external signs. Effective treatment and protection is among CBIS’s clinical priorities.

CHEST: Blast lung

Veterans exposed to blast have a high incidence of APD, a brain disorder that affects perception of sound – particularly the ability to understand speech whenever there is background noise. The Centre for Blast Injury Studies (CBIS) is working on a mind-controlled hearing aid that can isolate and boost the voice being listened to.

HEARING: Auditory processing disorder (APD)

Clinicians have long known that most amputees will suffer ‘phantom pain’ that seems to originate in the missing limb, and that it can be debilitatingly severe. It remains difficult to manage, but research shows a tailored rehabilitation programme for each patient produces the best results.

ARM: Post-amputation pain

This is a ‘signature injury’ of recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans may develop problems with cognition, memory and sleep, and the damage may not become apparent until long after the initial blast. Researchers at CBIS have been exploring the use of Xenon gas as a treatment.

BRAIN: Traumatic brain injury