TITLE

Air-Gun Injuries: Initial Evaluation and Resultant Morbidity

AUTHOR(S)
Keller, Jennifer E.; Hindman, Jason W.; Kidd, Joseph N.; Jackson, Richard J.; Smith, Samuel D.; Wagner, Charles W.
PUB. DATE
June 2004
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Jun2004, Vol. 70 Issue 6, p484
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Severity of injuries from air-powered weapons can be underappreciated. Transformation of these weapons into toys makes them available to children. Our experience reveals the underestimated injury severity and emphasizes need for prompt trauma evaluation. Retrospective chart review of children sustaining air-gun injuries and evaluated at a single, pediatric hospital from 1991 to 2002 was performed. Medical record numbers were retrieved from a trauma data base. Data included age, weapon type, firing distance, injury site, radiographic studies, operative intervention, length of stay, and long-term disability. Ocular injuries were excluded secondary to known severity. All other injuries and treatments are described. Thirty-four children, average age 10 years ±3.3 years, sustained 35 injuries from 1991 through 2002. Twenty-one children required admission, 19 children required surgery, and 5 children experienced long-term disability. Average time to definitive care was 3 hours 12 minutes. Sites of injury included head, neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities. Average hospital stay was 4.3 days. In the pediatric population, air-gun injuries can be underestimated. Lack of collateral tissue damage makes wounds appear innocuous to unsuspecting medical personnel resulting in delayed care. During initial evaluation, injuries from air guns deserve the same respect as those caused by conventional firearms.
ACCESSION #
13324734

 

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