Health study on explosion reveals what kind of injuries sustained

Posted at 5:58 PM, Apr 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-16 23:43:00-04

A study by the McLennan County Health District may help hospitals in the future by knowing what kind of injuries to expect.

The study gathered information from multiple hospitals in the area to figure out what kind of injuries people had 48 hours after the explosion. After a month and a half of research, preliminary results are in.

To see some of those findings click here.

"We can predict what kind of treatment they will need if something like this happens in the future at another place," epidemiologist Hammad Akram said.
Akram and the district started gathering information from area hospitals in early February. They then interviewed residents who were injured by the blast. Akram says they now have the initial results in which include what kinds of injuries there were.

The most common type of injury were cuts and getting impaled by debris. The second and third were bruises and scratches. These injuries are mostly from 48 hours after the explosion but some are within the next month.

Akram says one thing they learned is that the hospitals used a lot of x-rays.  

"That is a lesson learned from us to this is what we can take and share with other hospitals if something like this happened in the future. Make sure that you have this capability and make sure you have enough machines or equipment available to offer," Akram said.

Akram also says they can learn more about where people were when the explosion went off. Akram says most people were inside homes but some were outside or in cars. He says they can eventually learn what places are safer. It is too early to determine that but they do know a few things.

"Like someone was inside the house they were more likely to sustain injuries like laceration, abrasions and contusions. Versus if someone was outside they were more likely to sustain injuries like hearing," Akram said.

Akram said one thing did surprise him and that was the lack of hearing injuries. He says there are a few, but he expected more. That's because the injuries are short-term and more injuries could come in down the road.

"If we looked in the future, we may look into some of the long-term problems, but this is not the scope of our current investigation," Akram said.