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Stray bullet: An accidental killer during riot control.

Wani AA, Ramzan AU, Shoib Y, Malik NK, Nizami FA, Dhar A, Alam S - Surg Neurol Int (2011)

Bottom Line: The use of force to control public uprisings, riots, unruly mobs is an important tool in any administrative setup.We had two patients with head injury and two with spinal injury sustained because of stray bullets.Amongst the patients with spinal injury, neurological deficits persist till date.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurosurgery, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

ABSTRACT

Background: The use of force to control public uprisings, riots, unruly mobs is an important tool in any administrative setup. Law enforcement agencies often resort to aerial firing, which can be responsible for unintended injuries due to stray bullets.This study was designed to study the pattern of stray bullet injuries and to generate awareness about the hazards related to the use of live ammunition during riot control.

Methods: This study was conducted in our unit of the neurosurgery department over a period of 18 months, from June 2008 to December 2010. We enrolled all patients who had head or spine injuries caused by stray bullets from firing during riot control far away from the site of injury.

Results: We had two patients with head injury and two with spinal injury sustained because of stray bullets. One of the patients with head injury was operated and the other one was managed conservatively; the latter died on the third day of injury, while the former is surviving with some residual neurological deficit. Amongst the patients with spinal injury, neurological deficits persist till date. None of the patients were aware that they had sustained a bullet injury, and it was only after inquiry that we came to know that the police had resorted to aerial firing for controlling public agitation in nearby areas.

Conclusion: Aerial firing of live cartridges is generally considered an 'innocuous' method; however, in view of the potential for injury to innocent bystanders, we recommend that the use of live cartridges during aerial firing be banned.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Sagittal MRI showing intensity changes in the bullet tract against C7-D2; there is no canal compromise
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Figure 3: Sagittal MRI showing intensity changes in the bullet tract against C7-D2; there is no canal compromise

Mentions: A young woman was working in the kitchen garden when she suddenly felt a pain in the back and became paraplegic. Her family members noted a wound in the back which was bleeding. The entry wound was in the dorsal region. On examination, the patient was in shock and had paraplegia. X-ray revealed a bullet in the pelvis [Figure 2]. She underwent urgent laparotomy; the intra-abdominal hematoma was evacuated and the bullet was retrieved. MRI of the dorsal spine done after 2 days revealed the bullet tract at C7-D2 level. The cord was intact and only the muscles and other soft tissues were involved, without any canal injury [Figure 3]. No surgical procedure was warranted. Ten months later, she continues to be paraplegic.


Stray bullet: An accidental killer during riot control.

Wani AA, Ramzan AU, Shoib Y, Malik NK, Nizami FA, Dhar A, Alam S - Surg Neurol Int (2011)

Sagittal MRI showing intensity changes in the bullet tract against C7-D2; there is no canal compromise
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3198307&req=5

Figure 3: Sagittal MRI showing intensity changes in the bullet tract against C7-D2; there is no canal compromise
Mentions: A young woman was working in the kitchen garden when she suddenly felt a pain in the back and became paraplegic. Her family members noted a wound in the back which was bleeding. The entry wound was in the dorsal region. On examination, the patient was in shock and had paraplegia. X-ray revealed a bullet in the pelvis [Figure 2]. She underwent urgent laparotomy; the intra-abdominal hematoma was evacuated and the bullet was retrieved. MRI of the dorsal spine done after 2 days revealed the bullet tract at C7-D2 level. The cord was intact and only the muscles and other soft tissues were involved, without any canal injury [Figure 3]. No surgical procedure was warranted. Ten months later, she continues to be paraplegic.

Bottom Line: The use of force to control public uprisings, riots, unruly mobs is an important tool in any administrative setup.We had two patients with head injury and two with spinal injury sustained because of stray bullets.Amongst the patients with spinal injury, neurological deficits persist till date.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurosurgery, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

ABSTRACT

Background: The use of force to control public uprisings, riots, unruly mobs is an important tool in any administrative setup. Law enforcement agencies often resort to aerial firing, which can be responsible for unintended injuries due to stray bullets.This study was designed to study the pattern of stray bullet injuries and to generate awareness about the hazards related to the use of live ammunition during riot control.

Methods: This study was conducted in our unit of the neurosurgery department over a period of 18 months, from June 2008 to December 2010. We enrolled all patients who had head or spine injuries caused by stray bullets from firing during riot control far away from the site of injury.

Results: We had two patients with head injury and two with spinal injury sustained because of stray bullets. One of the patients with head injury was operated and the other one was managed conservatively; the latter died on the third day of injury, while the former is surviving with some residual neurological deficit. Amongst the patients with spinal injury, neurological deficits persist till date. None of the patients were aware that they had sustained a bullet injury, and it was only after inquiry that we came to know that the police had resorted to aerial firing for controlling public agitation in nearby areas.

Conclusion: Aerial firing of live cartridges is generally considered an 'innocuous' method; however, in view of the potential for injury to innocent bystanders, we recommend that the use of live cartridges during aerial firing be banned.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus