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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2013 Jul;6(3):155-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-2700.115318.

Pattern, presentation and management of vascular injuries due to pellets and rubber bullets in a conflict zone.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Rubber bullets and pellet guns are considered non-lethal low-velocity weapons. They are used to disperse a mob during street protests. The present study was undertaken to analyze the pattern, presentation and management of vascular injuries caused by these weapons.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

This was a prospective study of patients with features of vascular injuries due to pellets and rubber bullets from June 2010 to November 2010. All patients with features of vascular injuries due to these non-lethal weapons were included in the study. Vascular injuries caused by other causes were excluded from the study.

RESULTS:

A total of 35 patients who presented with features of vascular injury during this period were studied. All of them were males. The mean age was 22 years. Fifteen patients were revascularized primarily, 19 patients needed reverse saphenous vein graft and, in one, patient lateral repair was done. There were two mortalities in our series. Wound infection was the most common complication. The amputation rate was around 6%.

CONCLUSION:

Pellet and rubber bullets can cause serious life-threatening injuries. Vascular injury caused by these weapons need no different approach than other vascular injuries. Early revascularization and prompt resuscitation prevents the loss of limb or life.

KEYWORDS:

Pellet; rubber bullet; vascular injury

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