Pellet gun used by law enforcement agencies have the potential to cause grevious or life threatening injuries as metallic projectiles fired at high speeds from pellet gun have potential to damage air containing organs like lungs which occupy a large portion of chest cavity and lie in close approximation to chest wall. Thoracic injury overall is the third most common cause of trauma following injury to the head and extremities.
Objective. The objective of this study was to evaluate lung pellet gun injuries in patients of a conflict zone by a so called non-lethal weapon.
Methods. The study was conducted in post graduate department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Government Medical College, Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir. Our study was performed between the 6th January 2019 to the 22th May 2019. A total of 40 patients with pellet injuries were taken up for study.
Inclusion criteria were patients with pellet gun injuries without any immediate life threatening injury like head injury; patients willing to be part of study. Radiographs of all the patients were studied. Whenever there was suspicion of severe injury, CT scan was done. We obtained thin-section axial CT scans (0.625– 1.25 mm) with multiplanar reformation with an interval of 3-5 mm.
Results. All of the patients were males with most of patients in age group of 20 to 30 years.
About 14 patients out of 40 had lung injuries. The most common pattern of lung injury was pneumothorax followed by pulmonary hemorrhage.
In conclusion, a so called non-lethal pellet gun used by law enforcement agencies has the potential to cause lung injuries which can sometimes be lethal to life especially when fired from short distance.
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