Release of the Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual

20 May 2019

A few months ago on the mainstage at #WEM18, Medical Historian Dr Emily Mayhew discussed her work alongside Save the Children, Imperial College London and a host of medical and operational experts in the creation of a new Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual. 

The Manual, intended to be a comprehensive guide for local medical teams who are forced to operate on and treat children in remote environments and with limited training and resources, is the first of its kind to focus on paediatric blast injury from the point of wounding right through to the discharge of the patient from hospital, and beyond.

Last week witnessed the culmination of this fantastic team effort as the Manual was made available to the public. We caught up with Emily to see what she had to say about the release…

“I first spoke about the plans for our Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual at WEM’s conference in 2018.  The interest and expert feedback I received from the WEM audience was really important in encouraging us to move forward with our concept of a Field Manual that could be used by all medical staff likely to encounter children injured by explosives – an incredibly challenging patient cohort.  We hope the result will be used by both medics and those who are required to plan for the treatment of severely injured children, in terms of resources, training and equipment.

We’ve produced the Field Manual to support medics with technical information that helps them adapt their existing knowledge to the needs of children and also to provide confidence in what can be a very difficult moment for even the most experienced teams.  We’ve incorporated sections on safeguarding, futility and psycho-social support – for the patients, their families and caregivers, and for the medics themselves who do this work.  

We hope it will be useful.  Please pass it around and come and find me at #WEM19 to share your thoughts”. 


Why is this Manual needed? 

It is estimated that today, a fifth of children worldwide live in areas affected by conflict. This equates to approximately 420 million children living in conflict zones (Save the Children define this as an area within 50km of where one or more conflict events took place in a given year). Children living in these zones face an increased risk of injury as a result of explosive weapons, as well as a shortage of equipment and specialist knowledge when treating such injuries.

The Paediatric Blast Injury Field Manual is a durable, easy-to-use tool intended to bridge this gap, providing medical staff with the information needed to help make complex decisions about paediatric care.


The Manual is now available to download FREE from the Imperial College website.

Dr Mayhew will be at the World Extreme Medicine Conference in Edinburgh later this year and would love to hear your thoughts – grab your tickets here! 



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