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J Agromedicine. 2008;13(3):191-6. doi: 10.1080/10599240802405975.

Injuries and deaths occurring as a result of bull attack.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, Meram Medical School, Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey.


Persons whose occupations are in animal husbandry may be seriously injured or killed while tending to animals. Bulls are among the most dangerous of these animals. In this study, seven deaths and 23 traumatic injury cases caused by bull attacks and treated in the General Surgery and Chest Surgery Department of Selcuk University Meram Medical Faculty Hospital are presented. Of the 30 total cases, 24 were male and 6 were female. The ages of the cases ranged from 33 to 86 years and the average age was 60.3 +/- 12.4 (mean +/- standard deviation). All of the death and injury cases occurred while engaged in the care of bulls. It was also determined that the injuries were in the chest region of five (71.4%) and in the head of two (18.6%) out of seven death cases; and in the abdominal region of 14 (60.9%) and in the chest region of nine (39.1%) out of 23 traumatic injury cases. Of the 14 cases that were in the abdominal region and treated surgically, 11 were perforation of small/large intestines, whereas hemorrhages involving the intestinal mesentery, intraabdominal hemorrhage due to perforation of the abdominal wall, and splenic laceration were determined in one case each. There were one or multiple costal fractures in all nine chest injury cases, flail chest in five cases, and hemothorax, pneumothorax, or hemopneumothorax were determined in six cases. Of the chest injury cases, tube thoracostomy was performed in six whereas the other three cases were discharged from the hospital after supportive care. It was concluded that animals such as bulls might be the cause of serious trauma ending with death for those working in the animal husbandry. For this reason, caution is required while feeding and working with bulls. Risk can be reduced by chutes, gates, restraints, special housing, and confinement facilities. Also, wearing protective helmets would be useful especially for preventing head injuries.

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