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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2018 Nov;24(6):587-593. doi: 10.5505/tjtes.2018.13402.

Distribution characteristics of combat-related shrapnel and relationship to weapon type and conflict location: Experience of an operational field hospital.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Dr. Aşkım Tüfekçi State Hospital, Adana-Turkey. akaysinan04@yahoo.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of shrapnel distribution in the body and a possible relationship to the type of weapon and type of location of the conflict.

METHODS:

The records of 246 patients admitted to a level-III trauma center with any kind of firearm injury were examined retrospectively. Ninety patients who had at least 1 radiologically-proven piece of shrapnel in their body were included in the study. For the purposes of the study, the body was divided into 5 regions (head/neck, thorax/back, abdomen/pelvis/waist, upper extremities, and lower extremities) and shrapnel distribution was noted according to these divisions. Medical data and detailed information regarding the weapon type (long-barreled weapon, rocket-propelled grenade [RPG], or improvised explosive device [IED]), conflict location (residential or rural area), and all radiological examinations (radiography and/or computed tomography) were carefully reviewed. The relationship between these variables and the shrapnel distribution in the body was investigated.

RESULTS:

No statistically significant differences were seen between weapon type and shrapnel distribution (p<0.05), except a significantly higher percentage of head/neck region shrapnel injuries as a result of RPG and IED injuries (p=0.002). There was no statistically significant relationship between the shrapnel distribution characteristics and conflict location, classified as either residential or rural (p<0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Secondary blast injuries induced by penetrating shrapnel are the most common type of explosion- and combatrelated injuries. In the current study, a significantly higher rate of head/neck region shrapnel injuries was observed in RPG and IED injuries compared with long-barreled weapon-induced injuries. The prim.

PMID:
30516261
DOI:
10.5505/tjtes.2018.13402
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