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Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut's Blast

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This article discusses the massive blast of Beirut that took place in the evening of August 4, 2020 and the devastation it has caused to the country and its citizens. It allegedly blames shattered glass from building facades and interiors to be the leading cause of most the 180+ deaths and 6000+ injuries that resulted from this tragic blast as has been witnessed in the emergency wards of treating hospitals. It then recapitulates on the terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, on April 19, 1995, that claimed the lives of 167 people and numerous injuries most of which were due to glass shards flying and falling from broken windows causing severe lacerations and abrasions. The article then addresses the resulting safety measures and construction codes that emerged after the Oklahoma City bombing with a recommendation to the Lebanese authorities and other authorities within volatile regions so as to incorporate safety glass in the reconstruction process and or the (re)design of old and new buildings. Should the building safety standards that emerged after the Oklahoma City attack have been ubiquitously used in contemporary cities, many lives and injuries that fell in the Beirut’s blast would have been spared.
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Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Photo Credit: Ziad O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D.
Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for
Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast
By: Ziad O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering
First Published: August 26, 2020
Keywords: Beirut, Blast, Bombing, Explosion, Laminated Glass, Lebanon, Non-Shattering Glass, Oklahoma
City, Safety, Shattered Glass.
Synopsis: This article discusses the massive blast of Beirut that took place in the evening of August 4,
2020 and the devastation it has caused to the country and its citizens. It allegedly blames shattered glass
from building facades and interiors to be the leading cause of most of the 180+ deaths and 6000+ injuries
that resulted from this tragic blast as has been witnessed in the emergency wards of treating hospitals. It
then recapitulates on the terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City,
Oklahoma, United States, on April 19, 1995, that claimed the lives of 167 people and numerous injuries
most of which were due to glass shards flying and falling from broken windows causing severe lacerations
and abrasions. The article then addresses the resulting safety measures and construction codes that
emerged after the Oklahoma City bombing with a recommendation to the Lebanese authorities and other
authorities within volatile regions so as to incorporate safety glass in the reconstruction process and or
the (re)design of old and new buildings. Should the building safety standards that emerged after the
Oklahoma City attack have been ubiquitously used in contemporary cities, many lives and injuries that fell
in the Beirut’s blast would have been spared.
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Introduction:
In the evening of Tuesday August 4, 2020, precisely at 18:08 EEST, a massive explosion erupted in the Port
of Beirut creating a mushroom cloud in the air with a supersonic blast-wave of compressed air radiating
throughout the city, literally shaking the whole country and devastating everything in its path [1], Figure
1. The blast was felt in many neighboring countries, including Turkey, Syria, and Israel, and was heard in
Cyprus, 234 km away from the epicenter of the explosion [2]. It created a seismic tremor the equivalent
of a 3.3 earthquake magnitude on the Richter scale according to seismologists at the United States
Geological Survey [1,3], and has been considered as one of the most powerful non-nuclear explosions in
history [4]. Beirut’s blast resulted in at least 180 deaths, over 6000 injured, some 30-40 missing, and over
300,000 homeless; moreover, it was accounted for 10-15 Billion USD in property damage [2]. Minutes
after the explosion, the Lebanese government declared Beirut in a state of emergency for two weeks [5].
Figure 1. A mushroom cloud created in the air (Top) with a supersonic blast-wave
(Bottom) radiating throughout the city. (Images were edited from a video feed.
Source: Unknown).
The blast was caused by an unexplained detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrateapproximately
1.1 kilotons of TNT, which had been stored unsafely in Warehouse No. 12 within the port of Beirut during
the preceding six years [2,6] after having been confiscated by the Lebanese authorities from the
abandoned Russian-owned cargo ship MV Rhosus [2]. Figure 2 shows the site of the explosion at the Port
of Beirut moments before the explosion and at the onset of the explosion resulting in a reddish-black
smoke shown in the figure on the right. The white smoke billowing in the left figure was due to an earlier
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
fire that burned out of control in Warehouse No. 12 near the towering grain silos [7]. It has been
speculated that a smaller explosion occurred at an adjacent warehouse storing fireworks that caused a
larger fire that triggered a second much larger blast [8]. The figure on the left also shows the Grain Silos
one of the monumental landmarks of Beirutmoments before it was defaced. Figure 3 shows the 140 m
wide crater created by the blast [1]. Figure 4 shows a sample of the devastated districts within a 3 km
radius from the epicenter of the blast with shattered glass covering most of the city’s streets. Several
areas were disparately affected by the blast: Mar Mikhael, Gemmayzeh, Quarantine, Achrafieh, and
Downtown [9]. A collaborative work between NASA's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team
and the Earth Observatory of Singapore employed satellite-derived synthetic aperture radar data to map
the plausible extent of damage from the Beirut’s blast. These results are shown in Figure 5 whereby dark
red pixelssuch as those present at and around the Port of Beirutsignifies the most severe damage,
while areas in orange are moderately damaged and areas in yellow are likely to have suffered to a certain
degree less damage [10]. Each colored pixel represents an area of 30 meters. The resulting map comprises
of modified Copernicus Sentinel data processed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and analyzed by
ARIA team scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, and Earth Observatory of Singapore
[10].
Figure 2. The site of the explosion moments before (Left) and at the onset (Right)
of the big explosion. (Images were edited from a video feed. Source: Unknown).
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Figure 3. An aerial view of the site of the explosion revealing the dimensions of
the crater created by the blast. (Source: REUTERS).
Figure 4. A sample of the devastated districts within a 3 km radius from the
epicenter of the blast showing shattered glass covering the streets. (Source:
Unknown).
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Figure 5. Satellite data used to map the extent of likely damage following the
massive explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Earth
Observatory of Singapore/ESA).
If one examines the types of injuries and causes of death related to the Beirut’s blast, one finds out that
they were mainly due to glass shards flying and falling from building facades and interiors causing severe
lacerations and abrasions, Figure 6, as witnessed in the emergency wards of treating hospitals. Certainly,
other causes of deaths or injuries were due to the enormous blast wave created by the explosion, collapse
of building roofs and walls, and/or to flying objects and debrissuch as heavy objects, vehicles, window
frames, rocks, etc.depending on the proximity of the victims from the epicenter of the explosion.
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Figure 6. A mosaic image of a victim of the Beirut’s blast with deep lacerations
and limb amputations due to flying glass shards from building facades. The
mosaic was purposefully introduced due to the graphic nature of the image
(Source: Unknown).
The Oklahoma City Bombing Case:
On April 19, 1995, a domestic terrorist truck bombing hit the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, Figure 7 [11]. The bombing occurred at 09:02, killing 167 people
and causing more than 680 injuries [12-13]. The blast damaged or destroyed 324 other buildings within a
16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and burned or destroyed 86 cars [13-15], causing
an estimated 652 million USD worth of damage [16]. Following the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
bombing, shattered glass was found around the city [17], and further investigations revealed that flying
glass lacerated more than 80% of the victims of the bombing attack in Oklahoma City [18]. This tragic
event drew the attention of both the engineering and security communities on two main matters, namely:
i) the preclusion of progressive structural collapse; and, ii) the design of blast-resistant glazing [12].
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
Figure 7. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
United States after the terrorist attack (Source: AP, File).
Hence, while designing the new Oklahoma City Federal Building, one of the objectives was to engineer
means to prevent glass shards from flying into the building and to determine how envelope design and
materials can aid in protecting people and property in the vicinity of an explosion [18]. Accordingly, the
glass enveloping the reinforced structure of the new federal building was laminated so that it becomes
blast-resistant, difficult to break into large pieces; and, if it is broken it would not separate from the
holding frame [17-18].
Discussion and Conclusions:
Many injuries occurring in explosions result from window glass failure whether directly or indirectly [19].
Direct glass-related injuries take place when glass shards flying and falling from broken windows cause
abrasions and lacerations [19]. The terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma, United States, on April 19, 1995, reinforced the need for building security measures that
are passive, permanent, cost-effective, and architecturally uncompromising [20]. Laminated glass has
proven to remain intact, protecting the interior of the building, and becoming part of the defense rather
than part of the attack [20].
The types of injuries and causes of death related to the Beirut’s blast were also mainly caused by glass
shards, flying and falling from building facades and interiors, resulting in severe lacerations and abrasions
as witnessed in the emergency wards of treating hospitals. Over 180 deaths and 6000 injuries resulted
from this explosion and much of these casualties could have been spared should the proper authorities
complied to the new standards issued and employed after the 1995 bombing of Alfred P. Murrah Federal
Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States.
In this sense, it is hoped that this article conveys a wake-up message to the engineering and security
communities to legislate and enforce new building safety codes and incorporate laminated glass in the
(re)design of old and new buildings, particularly in volatile regions in the world that are prone to internal
or external threats and are the host of a multitude of vulnerabilities.
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
About the Author:
Ziad O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. is a Full-Professor of Biomedical Engineering. He received the B.E. degree in
Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut-Lebanon in 1988. Specializing in Organ
Investigation, Biomedical Instrumentation, and Biomechanics/Biomaterials, he obtained the M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University-USA in 1991 and 1995, respectively.
During 1995-1997, he served a Post-Doctorate Research Fellowship in Pediatric Motion Analysis at
Shriners Hospital for Children-Chicago.
Professor Abu-Faraj is the Editor of a comprehensive two-volume research handbook in
Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering entitled “Handbook of Research on Biomedical Engineering
Education and Advanced Bioengineering Learning: Interdisciplinary Concepts”, published by IGI-Global,
Hershey, PA, USA in 2012 [21]. He is the lead author of a reputable number of research articles in several
areas of Biomedical Engineering. His research interests are in: Humanities and Social Sciences: Sustainable
Development, Science Technology and Innovation, and Fourth Industrial Revolution [22]; Epidemiology:
COVID-19 [23-25]; Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering Education [26-34]; Kinesiology and
Orthopaedic Biomechanics: Physical Activity, Exercise Physiology, Human Movement Analysis, Postural
Stability, Measurement of Human Performance, and Plantar Pressure Analysis [35-55]; Rehabilitation
Science and Engineering [56-62]; Neuroscience and Neural Engineering [63-66]; Biomedical
Instrumentation and Control: Portable Microprocessor-Based Data Acquisition Systems, Biosensors, and
Biocontrol Systems [67-80]; Biometrics [81]; Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Computing: Biosignals
and Systems, Biostatistical Analysis, and Modeling of Physiological Systems [82-84]; and,
Electroencephalography [83-85].
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global.com/book/handbook-research-biomedical-engineering-education/58270
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Technologies in Arab Countries. ESCWA Technology Center Report: Regional Forum on “National
Knowledge and Technology Development and Transfer Systems”, 51 pp., November 27-29, 2017,
ESCWA, United Nations House, Beirut, Lebanon.
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
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https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
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Dimensional Pediatric Foot and Ankle Motion. Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine &
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Pediatric Foot and Ankle Kinematics during Gait. Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine
& Biology Society, Vol. 20, pp. 2418-2421, October 29-November 1, 1998, Hong Kong. DOI:
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[47] Abu-Faraj ZO, Harris GF, Smith PA. Quantitative Assessment of the Effects of Subtalar Arthrodesis
on the Planovalgus Foot Using Three-Dimensional Motion Analysis and Plantar Pressure
Measurements. Proceedings of the 8th Annual Meeting of the Gait and Clinical Movement
Analysis Society, pp. 145-146, May 7-10, 2003, Wilmington, DE, USA.
[48] Abu-Faraj ZO, Abou Assi FA, Jaber RK, Khalife HA. Characterization of Postural Stability in a
Simulated Environment of an Earthquake Using In-Shoe Plantar Pressure Measurement.
Proceedings of the 31st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and
Biology Society, pp. 5243-5246, September 2-6, 2009, Minneapolis, MN, USA. PMID: 19964865
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
[49] Abu-Faraj ZO, Akar HA, Assaf EH, Al-Qadiri MN, Youssef EG. Evaluation of Fall and Fall Recovery in
a Simulated Seismic Environment: A Pilot Study. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual International
Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 3954-3957, August 31-
September 4, 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2010.5627696
[50] Abu-Faraj ZO, Faraj YT, Mohtar KH, Rammal MM. Characterization of Plantar Pressures in Visually
Impaired Individuals: A Pilot Study. Proceedings of the 6th International IEEE EMBS Conference on
Neural Engineering, pp. 1549-1553, November 6-8, 2013, San Diego, CA, USA. DOI:
10.1109/NER.2013.6696242
[51] Mattar R, Diab J, Wehbe S, Merhej C, and Abu-Faraj ZO. Normative Plantar Pressure Distribution in
Asymptomatic Adult Subjects: A Pilot Study. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on
Advances in Biomedical Engineering, pp. 230-233, September 16-18, 2015, Hadat-Beirut, Lebanon.
[52] Abu-Faraj ZO, Abdul-Al MM, and Al-Deeb RA. Leg Length Discrepancy: A Study on In-Shoe Plantar
Pressure Distribution. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on BioMedical Engineering
and Informatics (BMEI 2015), pp. 381-385, October 14-16, 2015, Shenyang, China. DOI:
10.1109/BMEI.2015.7401534
[53] Abu-Faraj ZU, Harris GF, Chang AH, Shereff MJ, Nery J. Plantar Pressure Distribution with the Use
of Metatarsal Pads: A Quantitative Study. Gait & Posture, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 62, March 1994. DOI:
10.1016/0966-6362(94)90078-7
[54] Abu-Faraj ZU, Wertsch JJ, Wervey RA, Abler JH, Harris GF. Plantar Pressure during Stair Climbing
and Descending. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 76, No. 1, p. 1074,
November 1995, Orlando, FL, USA. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-9993(95)81318-7
[55] Sampath G, Abu-Faraj ZO, Smith PA, Harris GF. Preliminary Clinical Application of an Active
Marker Based Pediatric Foot and Ankle Motion Analysis System. Gait & Posture, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.
176, March 1998. DOI: 10.1016/S0966-6362(98)90263-6
[56] Abu-Faraj ZO, Harris GF, Smith PA. Surgical Rehabilitation of the Planovalgus Foot in Cerebral
Palsy. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 202-
214, 2001. DOI: 10.1109/7333.928580
[57] Abu-Faraj ZO, Harris GF, Chang AH, Shereff MJ. Evaluation of a Rehabilitative Pedorthic: Plantar
Pressure Alterations with Scaphoid Pad Application. IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation
Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 328-336, 1996. PMID: 8973959
[58] Abu-Faraj ZO, Hassani S, Harris GF. Gait Analysis: A Rehabilitative Interdiscipline. In: Kumar S,
Editor. Perspectives in Rehabilitation Ergonomics, First Edition, Taylor & Francis Ltd. Publishers,
London, UK, Chapter 7, pp. 166-195, 1997. ISBN: 0 7484 0673 5
[59] Abu-Faraj ZO, Bou Sleiman HC, Al Katergi WM, Heneine JLD, Mashaalany MJ. A Rehabilitative Eye-
Tracking Based Brain-Computer Interface for the Completely Locked-In Patient. In:
Wickramasinghe N and Geisler E; Editors. Encyclopedia of Healthcare Information Systems, First
Edition, Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global, Vol. III, pp. 1153-1160, 2008. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-
889-5.ch144
[60] Abu-Faraj ZO, Mashaalany MJ, Bou Sleiman HC, Heneine JLD, and Al Katergi WM. Design and
Development of a Low-Cost Eye Tracking System for the Rehabilitation of the Completely Locked-
In Patient. Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in
Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 4905-4908, August 30-September 3, 2006, New York City, NY,
USA. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2006.260280
[61] Abu-Faraj ZO, Jabbour E, Ibrahim P, Ghaoui A. Design and Development of a Prototype
Rehabilitative Shoes and Spectacles for the Blind. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference
on BioMedical Engineering and Informatics, pp. 683-687, October 16-18, 2012, Chongqing, People
Republic of China. DOI: 10.1109/BMEI.2012.6513135
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
[62] Boustany G, Itani AED, Youssef R, Chami O, and Abu-Faraj ZO. Design and Development of a
Rehabilitative Eye-Tracking Based Home Automation System. Proceedings of the Third Middle East
Conference on Biomedical Engineering (MECBME’16), pp. 30-33, October 6-7, 2016, Beirut,
Lebanon. DOI: 10.1109/MECBME.2016.7745401
[63] Abu-Faraj ZO, Abou Rjeily DM, Bou Nasreddine RW, Andari MA, and Taok HH. A Prototype Retinal
Prosthesis for Visual Stimulation. Proceedings of the 29th Annual International Conference of the
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 5774-5777, August 23-26, 2007, Lyon,
France. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2007.4353659
[64] Parks TJ, Wertsch JJ, Abu-Faraj ZU. Repeatability of Transcarpal Median and Ulnar Short Segment
Latencies: Considerations in Delta Determination. Muscle and Nerve, Vol. 17, No. 9, p. 1083,
September 1994. DOI: 10.1002/mus.880170920
[65] Parks TJ, Roberts MM, Abu-Faraj ZU, Wertsch JJ. Premotor Potentials in the Normal Elderly.
Muscle and Nerve, Vol. 17, No. 9, p. 1083, September 1994. DOI: 10.1002/mus.880170920
[66] Ackman JD, Abu-Faraj Z, Chambers C, Phillips B, Davids J, Hood J. Botulinum Toxin Treatment of
Dynamic Deformities in an Ambulatory Spastic Cerebral Palsy Population: A Multi-Center Study.
Gait & Posture, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 167, March 1998. DOI: 10.1016/S0966-6362(98)90245-4
[67] Abu-Faraj ZO. A Holter Type System for Recording Plantar Pressures: Development and Clinical
Applications. Ph.D. Dissertation, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA, 1995, 150 p.,
Publication Number: AAT 9600843.
[68] Harris GF, Abu-Faraj ZU, Wertsch JJ, Abler JH, Vengsarkar AS. A Holter Type System for Study of
Plantar Foot Pressures. Journal of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 1, pp. 233-239, 1994. Also in
Biomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis & Communications, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 409-415, August
1995.
[69] Abu-Faraj ZO, Harris GF, Abler JH, Smith PA, Wertsch JJ. A Holter-Type Microprocessor-Based
Rehabilitation Instrument for Acquisition and Storage of Plantar Pressure Data in Children with
Cerebral Palsy. IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 33-38, March
1996. DOI: 10.1109/86.486055
[70] Abu-Faraj ZO, Harris GF, Abler JH, Wertsch JJ. A Holter-Type, Microprocessor-Based,
Rehabilitation Instrument for Acquisition and Storage of Plantar Pressure Data. Journal of
Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 187-194, 1997. PMID: 9108345
[71] Abu-Faraj ZU, De La Fuente EK, Marx K, Montgomery S, Riedel S, Harris G. Assessment of Pull-to-
Stand Joint Reactions in Human Subjects: Design and Instrumentation of an Integrated System.
Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 1162-1163,
October 29 - November 1, 1992, Paris, France. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.1992.5761972
[72] Sampath G, Abu-Faraj ZO, Smith PA, Harris GF. Design and Development of an Active Marker
Based System for Analysis of 3-D Pediatric Foot and Ankle Motion. Proceedings of the IEEE
Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, Vol. 20, pp. 2415-2417, October 29-November 1, 1998,
Hong Kong. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.1998.744916
[73] Abu-Faraj ZU, Harris GF, Wertsch JJ, Woodbury WM, Vengsarkar AS. A Data-Acquisition System
for Monitoring Skin Surface Temperature during Nerve Conduction Studies. Proceedings of the
IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 1030-1031, October 28-31,
1993, San Diego, CA, USA. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.1993.978990
[74] Abu-Faraj ZO, Hamdan TF, Wehbi MR, Khalil GA, and Hamdan HM. Design and Development of an
Earthquake-Simulated Environment for the Study of Postural Stability. Proceedings of the
International Conference on Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, pp. 188-193, December
11-14, 2006, Republic of Singapore. ID: 9705574
Z.O. Abu-Faraj, Ph.D. Shattered Glass is Allegedly Blamable for Most of the Victims of Beirut’s Blast. LinkedIn Pulse. August 26, 2020.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/shattered-glass-allegedly-blamable-most-victims-blast-abu-faraj
[75] Abu-Faraj ZU, Harris GF, Wertsch JJ, Abler JH, Vengsarkar AS. Holter System Development for
Recording Plantar Pressures: Design and Instrumentation. Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in
Medicine & Biology Society, Vol. 16, pp. 934-935, November 3-6, 1994, Baltimore, MD, USA. DOI:
10.1109/IEMBS.1994.415220
[76] Vengsarkar AS, Abler JH, Abu-Faraj ZU, Harris GF, Wertsch JJ. Holter System Development for
Recording Plantar Pressures: Software Development. Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in
Medicine & Biology Society, Vol. 16, pp. 936-937, November 3-6, 1994, Baltimore, MD, USA. DOI:
10.1109/IEMBS.1994.415221
[77] Wervey RA, Abler JH, Abu-Faraj ZU, Harris GF, Wertsch JJ. Data Preview Software for Interactive
Review of Holter Type Plantar Pressure Data. Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine &
Biology Society, Vol. 17, 2 pp., September 20-23, 1995, Montréal, Canada. DOI:
10.1109/IEMBS.1995.579681
[78] Harris GF, Smith PA, Abu-Faraj ZO, Hassani S. Pediatric Gait Analysis: Instrumentation
Requirements and Clinical Data Interpretation. Proceedings of the International Conference on
Biomedical Engineering (BME '96), pp. L9-L11, June 3-5, 1996, Hong Kong.
[79] Abu-Faraj ZO, Al Chamaa W, Al Hadchiti A, Sraj Y, and Tannous J. Design and Development of a
Heart Attack Detection Steering Wheel. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on
BioMedical Engineering and Informatics (BMEI 2018), 6 pp., October 13-15, 2018, Beijing, China.
DOI: 10.1109/CISP-BMEI.2018.8633210
[80] Abu-Faraj ZO, Sampath G, Smith PA, Hassani S, Harris GF. A Clinical System for Analysis of Pediatric
Foot and Ankle Motion. Abstract: Gait & Posture, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 149, April 1997. DOI:
10.1016/S0966-6362(97)83368-1
[81] Abu-Faraj ZO, Atie A, Chebaklo K, Khoukaz E. Fingerprint Identification Software for Forensic
Applications. Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits and
Systems, 4 pp., December 17-20, 2000, Kaslik, Lebanon. DOI: 10.1109/ICECS.2000.911541
[82] Abu-Faraj ZO, Barakat SS, Chaleby MH, Zaklit JD. A SIM Card-Based Ubiquitous Medical Record
Bracelet/Pendant System: A Pilot Study. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on
BioMedical Engineering and Informatics, pp. 1914-1918, October 15-17, 2011, Shanghai, People
Republic of China. DOI: 10.1109/BMEI.2011.6098724
[83] Abu-Faraj Z. Characterization of the Electroencephalogram as a Chaotic Time Series. Master Thesis
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA, 1991, 115 pp.
[84] Abu-Faraj Z, Ropella K, Myklebust J, Goldstein M. Characterization of the Electroencephalogram as
a Chaotic Time Series. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering
in Medicine and Biology Society, Orlando, FL, USA. October 31-Novemer 3, 1991, Vol. 13, No. 5,
pp. 2228-2229. DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.1991.684975
[85] Abu-Faraj ZO. Is the Term Paradoxical Sleep a Misnomer? LinkedIn Pulse. June 17, 2020. Available
online: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/term-paradoxical-sleep-misnomer-prof-ziad-abu-faraj
... Injuries were mainly from shattered glass and other flying objects like other explosions where injuries result mainly from shattered glass from windows. Abou-Faraj et al. reported that injuries and death in all Beirut casualties were mainly due to glass shards flying and falling from building facades and interiors causing severe lacerations and abrasions [15]. Similarly, investigations revealed that shattered glass lacerated more than 80% of victims of the 1995 bombing attack of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing in Oklahoma City [15]. ...
... Abou-Faraj et al. reported that injuries and death in all Beirut casualties were mainly due to glass shards flying and falling from building facades and interiors causing severe lacerations and abrasions [15]. Similarly, investigations revealed that shattered glass lacerated more than 80% of victims of the 1995 bombing attack of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing in Oklahoma City [15]. This highlights the need for additional building security measures in designing new buildings especially in high-risk regions, such as laminating glass to become blast-resistant and architecturally uncompromising. ...
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Purpose To describe injuries and outcomes of casualties of Beirut Port Blast treated at a large tertiary care center in Beirut, Lebanon. Methods A retrospective observational study assessing the spectrum of injuries, treatment, and medical outcome among casualties of the Beirut Port Blast, immediately after the blast and up to 1 week from the blast to the emergency department of the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC). Results A total of 359 patients were included. Most (n = 343, 95.6%) were adults (> 19 years), and males (56%) with a mean age of 42 ± 20 years. The most frequent mechanism of injury was a penetrating injury (45.7%), followed by other blast-related injuries (30.4%), and blunt injuries (23.4%). The most affected anatomical location were the limbs. Most (n = 217, 60.4%) patients required imaging. The most frequently administered medication was analgesics (38%), followed by anesthetics (35%), antibiotics (31%), tetanus vaccine (31%), and fluids (28%). Blood and blood products were administered in 3.8% of cases. Emergent procedures included endotracheal intubation (n = 18, 5%), surgical airway (n = 3, 0.8%), chest tube insertion (n = 4, 1.1%), thoracotomy (n = 1, 0.3%), and CPR (n = 5, 1.4%). A quarter of patients required surgical operations in the operating room (n = 85, 23.6%) and 18% required noncritical care admissions, 5.3% required critical care admissions, and 2.8% were dead on arrival. Conclusion Casualties from this event had significant injuries requiring lifesaving interventions, surgical procedures, and admission to critical care units. High utilization of imaging modalities and of medications from existing stockpiles was also observed.
... Should the feasibility of finding a practical solution to this problem by the concerned authorities remain challenged, then in such a situation a sticker with a courtesy notice affixed next to the screen could lighten the situation, Figure 5. [25,[74][75][76]; Electroencephalography [75][76][77]; Epidemiology: COVID-19 [78][79][80]; and Public Safety [81]. ...
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This paper addresses a design imperfection in touch screens affixed to passenger seats of commercial aircrafts and cause disturbances to the passengers when the occupants of the rear seats repetitively poke their screen and transmit that poking energy to the back of the front occupants disrupting their comfort during the flight. The paper explains the mechanics of this problem through free-body and kinetics diagrams, and formulates the resulting equation of motion. It then presents one cost-effective solution using a simple design of a special frame for the touch screen whose perturbed motion is independent from that of the back of the passenger's seat. This frame is affixed to the bottom axle supporting of the back of the seat and, inspired from biomaterials, it makes use of a Zener Viscoelastic Mechanism or the Standard Linear Solid Model in a Kelvin representation to alleviate much of the forces and moments resulting from the poking force. The remnants of these forces are diverted to the supporting axle below. The material used in the proposed frame should be cost effective and combines both low weight-to-strength ratio and high stiffness. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or carbon fibre reinforced composite makes a good candidate for this solution. The paper concludes with a recommendation to Aircraft manufacturers as well as Aircraft Interiors' specialized companies, particularly seat and IFE designers, while awaiting for the next generation of wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) systems to emerge bringing with them a possible comprehensive solution to the aforementioned problem among other problems. The solution formulated herein could be used as well by the car manufacturing industry in Rear Seat Entertainment Systems.
... Prof. Ziad Abu-Faraj thanks Mrs. Henriette Skaff in the Department of Languages and Translation at AUST for her invaluable help in editing this article. [26]; Epidemiology: COVID-19 [27][28][29]; Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering Education [4-5, 17-18, 30-34, 82]; Kinesiology and Orthopaedic Biomechanics: Physical Activity, Exercise Physiology, Human Movement Analysis, Postural Stability, Measurement of Human Performance, and Plantar Pressure Analysis [21,24,[35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53]; Rehabilitation Science and Engineering [22][23][54][55][56][57][58]; Neuroscience and Neural Engineering [59][60][61][62]; Biomedical Instrumentation and Control: Portable Microprocessor-Based Data Acquisition Systems, Biosensors, and Biocontrol Systems [20,[63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75]82]; Biometrics [76]; Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Computing: Biosignals and Systems, Biostatistical Analysis, and Modeling of Physiological Systems [77][78][79]82]; Electroencephalography [78][79][80]; and Public Safety [81]. ...
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This paper presents a previously unpublished retrospective research that aims to quantify the overlap/differences among existing biomedical engineering curricula in the Middle East and Northern African (MENA) region. The work utilized an empirical study, entitled "Project Alexander the Great" to identify the 30 institutions of higher learning in this region that offer a degree program or an option in bioengineering/biomedical engineering with the objective of evaluating their curricula against three major philosophies: i) VaNTH-ERC Education Mission for Bioengineering and Educational Technologies, ii) Whitaker Curriculum Philosophy, and iii) Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Curriculum Philosophy-ABET EC2000. The results obtained from this study show that the programs of the studied institutions comply to a certain degree with the requirements of the aforementioned three curriculum philosophies. According to these results, there is a healthy regional growth and interest in the field of Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering. In order to promote first-class bioengineering/biomedical engineering education, the paper ends with a collection of recommendations and strategies to be implemented by entities within the MENA region that are planning to introduce state-of-the-art curricula in this vital field.
... He is the lead author of a reputable number of research articles in several areas of Biomedical Engineering. His research interests are in: Humanities and Social Sciences: Sustainable Development, Science Technology and Innovation, and Fourth Industrial Revolution [45]; Epidemiology: COVID-19 [46][47][48]; Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineering Education [10,[49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56]; Kinesiology and Orthopaedic Biomechanics: Physical Activity, Exercise Physiology, Human Movement Analysis, Postural Stability, Measurement of Human Performance, and Plantar Pressure Analysis [5,8,[57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][74][75]; Rehabilitation Science and Engineering [6][7][76][77][78][79][80]; Neuroscience and Neural Engineering [81][82][83][84]; Biomedical Instrumentation and Control: Portable Microprocessor-Based Data Acquisition Systems, Biosensors, and Biocontrol Systems [4,[85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97]; Biometrics [98]; Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Computing: Biosignals and Systems, Biostatistical Analysis, and Modeling of Physiological Systems [99][100][101]; Electroencephalography [100][101][102]; and Public Safety [103]. ...
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Purpose: Despite the use of illustrations describing the Walk-Along theory of skeletal muscle contraction, the level of understanding by physiology students of this mechanism can be augmented by an original educational biomechatronics physiological model developed to better demonstrate this theory. Methods: When the user initiates muscle contraction, a set of LEDs simulates the binding of ATP-molecules to the heads of cross-bridges on the myosin filament. Another set of LEDs simulates the rush of Ca++ ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum towards the Troponin-C on the troponin-complex of the actin filament. A third-set of LEDs simulates troponin activation in conjunction with rotating-gears that displace the tropomyosin filaments exposing the binding sites on the actin filaments. Subsequently, ATP cleaves into ADP and Pi, energizing the myosin-heads and binding them to the activated sites of the actin filament. Servomotors simulate the resulting power-strokes due to the corresponding forward-tilting of the heads of the cross-bridges, and DC-motors advance the actin filaments towards the H-band of the sarcomere in a cyclic process of repeated power/recovery strokes. Results: The model is validated using a group of 19 sophomore-students in two explanatory sessions—a standard explanation followed by another using the developed model. Each session concludes with a short descriptive assessment. The results reveal statistically significant changes between the two sessions in favor of the novel model introduced. Conclusions: The explanation of complex physiological phenomena in Biomedical Engineering programs could be faithfully simplified by introducing low-cost interactive biomechatronics educational models constructed by students and faculty within these programs.
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Synopsis: This article questions the legitimacy of the term Paradoxical Sleep. It begins with a brief historic overview of the discovery of brain electrical activity and the ensuing discovery of the electroencephalogram (EEG). It then addresses the sources of the EEG as a biopotential and the means of recording it with emphasis on the recommended international system for electrode placement and its modern variants. The article then delves into the characteristics of the EEG and the clinical classification of its frequencies with a special focus on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and its associated dreaming process, and the consequent origin of the term paradoxical sleep. Subsequently, the article addresses vision in terms of the visual pathway and transduction of visual imagery from pure optics to neural perception and interpretation. Special consideration is given to the substantial brain power required for neural image processing and the differences in EEG between a relaxed state with eyes closed and an aroused state with eyes open. The latter is then compared with the EEG obtained during REM sleep
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This article discusses the temporal outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic with the launching of the 5th generation mobile network as the new global wireless standard. It begins by addressing some of the debates, realities, and “conspiracy theories” revolving around COVID-19 and the adverse facts and theories surrounding 5G. It then describes the etiology and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus referring to some important facts related to the global outbreak of this pandemic. The article then delves into the question of how was China capable of successfully containing this pandemic using the disruptive 5G technology and its controversial application as compared to the rest of the world economies. Accordingly, the article discusses the 5th generation of mobile network and closes with the question as to: Is COVID-19 a Litmus Test for 5G Capabilities?
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Synopsis: This article discusses the nature of the Coronavirus disease, a.k.a. COVID-19, which is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It begins by addressing its etiology, morphology, transmission, pathogenesis and related symptoms. It then refers to some important facts related to the global outbreak of this pandemic. The article then delves into effective means-both interventional and nonpharmaceutical interventions-employed in combating this disease, generally around the world and particularly in mainland China, including the urgent quest for new treatment drugs and vaccine. Lastly, the article closes with a discussion about COVID-19 and some concluding remarks.
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A plantar pressure study that is independent of age, height, mass, and shoe size, and which contributes to a normative database has not yet been developed. Plantar pressure data have been recognized as an important element in the assessment of patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders. A normative plantar pressure distribution data for asymptomatic adult individuals encompassing the major daily activities provides an important resource for understanding the biomechanics of such disorders. In this study, the plantar pressure history is gathered using a pedar-x (novel GmbH, Munich, Germany) in-shoe dynamic plantar pressure measurement system. Five daily activities have been performed, namely, normal walking, stair ascent and descent, and walking uphill and downhill. Two female subjects, presenting no distinctive disease symptoms, participated in this pilot study. The subjects have a mean age of 22 years, mean height of 159 centimeters, mean mass of 56 kilograms, and mean female foot size of 37. Variations in different parameters such as the average 3D pressure, trajectory of the locus of the center of pressure (COP), peak pressures, contact area, contact durations, and pressure-time integral, have been noticed from one activity to another. The results of this study are to form the foundation for obtaining normative data when gathered with a larger sample population. A normative database can be developed in the future for patients with specific disorders such as diabetes mellitus or patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Such a database could lead to a better management of these disorders.
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Leg length discrepancy (LLD) refers to the medical condition where legs are of different length. This condition might affect gait and posture, and may lead to various orthopaedic disorders that can have serious repercussions on the individual, be it physiological, psychological, social, economic, or ergonomic. In order to ameliorate the rehabilitation of individuals with LLD, it is imperative to understand the biomechanics of LLD in these individuals. Hence, the current study’s objective is to characterize the plantar pressures of individuals with Leg Length Discrepancy in comparison to those of asymptomatic individuals. This pilot study employs a pedar-x in-shoe pedobarograph system to gather the history of dynamic plantar pressures in one adult male individual with LLD and a representative adult normal volunteer with no diagnosed neurological or musculoskeletal disorders. The obtained results reveal quantifiable differences in the study metrics between the two individuals during walking. These results provide a proof-of-concept for this study, and may serve as diagnostic tools to better rehabilitate individuals with LLD and, thus, provide them with a better quality of life. Future work is to incorporate an extended study of 10 normal individuals versus 10 individuals with LLD, and includes both males and females, as well as both adults and adolescents.
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Human locomotion is an acquired yet complex behavior requiring little thought during routine activities. It involves the integration of intricate sensory information within the nervous system, resulting in motor commands to control muscle contraction, and subsequent joint movement. Nevertheless, the understanding of the development of coordinated gait activity is lacking, despite numerous and profound advances in science and technology. As such, the quest for knowledge in the field of Human Motion Analysis pertaining to normal and pathological gait poses a challenge to various disciplines, such as biomechanical engineering, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, kinesiology, physical therapy, and sports medicine. This manuscript address Human Motion Analysis with a perspective on its evolutionary development, its present status, and a forecast of its future. A representation of the physiological basis of locomotion and some relevant anatomical terminology and gait-related characteristics and terminology is also included. The article contains a substantial coverage of gait analysis methodologies and systems, with emphasis on systems' accuracy and reliability. A delineation of biomechanical modeling of gait data, including ground reaction forces, plantar pressures, kinematics, kinetics, dynamic electromyography, and energy expenditure is also presented. Additionally, a section on foot and ankle motion analysis is provided. The manuscript concludes by addressing clinical interpretation and decision making.
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Bioengineering/biomedical engineering education is a social process integrating accrued knowledge, expertise, and values pertaining to a fusion of engineering sciences and biomedical sciences that have been disseminated across generations. It has evolved since 1959, and is currently undergoing a healthy global growth. This chapter provides a methodical and comprehensive study on bioengineering/biomedical engineering education. It is addressed to the international bioengineering/biomedical engineering researchers, faculty, and university/college students, as well as, practitioners in bioengineering/biomedical engineering, along with other closely-related governmental, non-governmental, and industrial entities.
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This paper is an empirical study that aims to characterize the similarities/differences among existing biomedical engineering curricula in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The work is based on an earlier study entitled “Project Alexander the Great” that identifies 29 institutions of higher learning within this region, offering degree programs or options in Biomedical Engineering. The objective is to evaluate the curricula of the identified institutions as to their adherence to three major curriculum philosophies: i) VaNTH-ERC (Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT Engineering Research Center) Education Mission for Bioengineering and Educational Technologies, ii) Whitaker Curriculum Philosophy, and iii) Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Curriculum Philosophy– ABET EC2000. The obtained results reveal that these programs are, to a certain degree, compliant with the requirements of the abovementioned philosophies. As such, the MENA region is witnessing a healthy academic growth and interest in the Biomedical Engineering field. The paper concludes with a referral to a different study by Abu-Faraj that provides a collection of recommendations and strategies to be implemented by entities which are planning to introduce stateof-the-art curricula in this vital field within the MENA region.