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J Trauma. 1988 Jan;28(1 Suppl):S95-8.

Wounding effects of small fragments of different shapes at different velocities on soft tissues of dogs.

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Institute of Field Surgery, No 3 Military Medical College Chongqing, China.


The wounding effects of small fragments of the same weight (0.44 gm) but different shapes and at different impact velocities (708-1,560 m/s) on the soft tissues of the hind legs of 156 dogs were studied. The experiments showed that velocity was the major factor in causing wounds. For fragments of the same shape, the energy transmission, volume of wound cavity, sectional areas at entrance and exit, and amount of tissue that had to be excised increased rapidly with increasing velocity. In particular, as the velocity reached about 1,500 m/s, a shallow and wide wound tract was liable to occur, peripheral tissue lesion was relatively apparent, even extended to the whole leg, and the rate of occurrence of bone fracture was high. The wounding effect of the shape of the fragment closely related to its sectional specific weight (W) and drag coefficient (CD). Given the weight of the projectile and the density and thickness of the tissue, the energy transmission (delta E) was directly proportional to the square of the velocity and to the drag coefficient, and inversely proportional to the sectional specific weight of the fragment. Therefore, under certain conditions, reducing the sectional specific weight often increased the drag coefficient, in favour of causing a wound. In this experiment, the extent of wounds caused by the triangular, the square, and the cylindrical, and the spherical fragments decreased in that order, in agreement with their values of sectional specific weight and drag coefficient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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