Violence from explosives and firearms results in mass casualty events in which the injured have multiple penetrating and soft tissue injuries. Events such as those in Boston, Massachusetts; Newtown, Connecticut; and Aurora, Colorado, as well as those in other locations, such as Europe and the Middle East, demonstrate that civilian trauma may at times resemble that seen in a combat setting. As the civilian sector prepares for and responds to these casualty scenarios, research and trauma practices that have emerged from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq provide a valuable foundation for responding to civilian mass casualty events. Several lessons learned by the US military were implemented during the response to the bombings in Boston in April of this year.
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