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J Trauma. 1996 Oct;41(4):674-8.

Air-powered guns: too much firepower to be a toy.

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1
Department of Surgery, Kosair Children's Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky 40232-5070, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study reviews our experience and calls attention to the potential danger of air-powered guns.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Review of patients with air-powered gun-injuries admitted to a Level I trauma center and air gun deaths reported to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission over a 5-year period ending July 1994.

RESULTS:

Sixteen children (median age 10) were admitted after sustaining BB or pellet gun injuries. Three children had cranial penetration; one remains severely brain impaired. One of two thoracic injuries required left ventriculorrhaphy. All five children sustaining abdominal wounds underwent laparotomy for enteric perforations; one was complicated by an intra-arterial pellet embolus. Three of five children with neck wounds had penetrating tracheal injury. Overall nine children required operative intervention. No deaths occurred in our series, but there were 33 air gun deaths reported to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission during this period.

CONCLUSION:

Our data demonstrate that injuries from air-powered guns should be treated in a manner similar to those from low velocity powder firearms. We can no longer continue to underestimate the potential for life-threatening injury from these weapons.

PMID:
8858027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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