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Prevention of facial fractures from night vision goggle impact



Prevention of facial fractures from night vision goggle impact



Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation 42: 13-18



Facial bone fractures in the military can result from direct loading of night vision goggles on the orbital region. Facial fracture research has shown that increasing the area over which the load is applied increases the load tolerance. The purpose of this study is to apply this concept to reducing the risk of facial bone fracture from night vision goggle impacts. The effectiveness of countermeasures in prevention of orbital fracture was evaluated using a vertical drop tower with two impact velocities of 2.6 m/s and 3.6 m/s. The countermeasure used was a rigid plastic custom face shield made from a plaster impression of each head. In addition to two human cadaver subjects, one male and one female, tests were completed on a Hybrid III 50th percentile dummy head. Three impacts to the dummy headform included no countermeasure, safety glasses, and a custom face shield. These tests yielded peak loads of 8700 N, 7500 N, and 5640 N respectively. Using the female subject, impacts were preformed successively until injury occurred. These two impacts to the subject wearing a custom face shield resulted in peak loads of 4025 N and 5158 N. The highest load corresponds to an impact velocity of 3.6 m/s and a nasal bone fracture. Two impacts to the male subject with a custom face shield resulted in peak loads of 4554 N and 5101 N with no injury. The final impact to the male subject had a peak load of 2010 N with complete orbital fracture due to the absence of a countermeasure. From these tests it is shown that facial fracture risk from night vision goggle impact can be reduced using a contoured rigid face shield.

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Accession: 050006577

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PMID: 16817578


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