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Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006 Sep;27(3):274-6.

Survived crossbow injuries.

Author information

1
Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

The Hamburg University Institute of Legal Medicine presents 2 cases of injuries of crossbow arrows where the patients survived. Crossbows are used nowadays as sports and hunting weapons. They are freely obtainable, and since people without practice can shoot them, there are constant injuries and fatal cases. Crossbow arrows have a high penetration force and can even pierce bone. Depending on the tip of the arrow used, they bore or cut through tissue, here damage to the tissue being restricted to the direct surroundings. Due to the elasticity of the tissue, the arrow shaft in the wound track may have the effect of an incomplete tamponade so that major hemorrhaging is prevented. In this condition, the injured person may be conscious and capacitated. From the medical viewpoint, crossbow arrows should therefore be invariably left in the wound, secured against displacement during transport, and only removed in the hospital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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