The second most susceptible organ to blast injury is the lung [3].

It is found on autopsy in a high proportion of immediate fatalities [3,5] and body armour is not protective against injury [5].

Blast forces are propagated through lung parenchyma, causing widespread disruption at the capillary-alveolar membrane and tearing of alveolar septae [5].

Systemic air embolism may also result from loss of integrity of the tissue-gas interface in the lungs and in turn causes a plethora of symptoms depending on the site of embolism:

  • Focal or diffuse neurological deficit from embolism to brain or spinal cord
  • Myocardial infarction from coronary artery embolisation
  • Ischaemia and infarction of the GI tract
  • Limb ischaemia or infarction
  • Visual field defects from retinal artery embolism [5]