Vacuum Bomb Thermobaric Weapons Trauma Assessment

Roger Seheult, MD of MedCram clarifies what a “vacuum bomb” is, and the basic assessments for triage, and prevention strategies. YouTube Tips ⓘ

A thermobaric weapon, also called an aerosol bomb, a vacuum bomb or a fuel air explosive (FAE), is a type of explosive that uses oxygen from the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion.

Thermobaric explosives apply the principles underlying accidental unconfined vapor cloud explosions, include explosions involvinbg dispersions of flammable dusts and droplets. Dust explosions happened mostly in flour mills and their storage containers, and also in coal mines, prior to the 20th century. Accidental unconfined vapor cloud explosions now happen most often in partially or fully empty oil tankers, refinery tanks, and vessels, such as the Buncefield fire in the United Kingdom in 2005.

A thermobaric explosion involves a flame front that accelerates to a large volume, which produces pressure fronts within the mixture of fuel and oxidant and then also in the surrounding local atmosphere.

In September 2007, Russia exploded the largest thermobaric weapon ever made with a yield comparable to the smallest nuclear weapons. Russia named the weapon the “Father of All Bombs” in response to the American-developed Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, also known as the “Mother of All Bombs.”