March 13, 1981

Gunshot Wounds: Pathophysiology and Management

Author Affiliations

State University of New York Stony Brook


by Kenneth G. Swan and Roy C. Swan, 250 pp, with illus, $27.50, Littleton, Mass, PSG Publishing Co, 1980.

JAMA. 1981;245(10):1072. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310350056034

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Gunshot Wounds is an attractively packaged and illustrated, well-indexed, timely volume that reminds us of the magnitude of trauma in modern society. Accidents are the third most common cause of death at all ages and the foremost cause of death in persons younger than 44 years, with firearm fatalities (30,000 annually) second only to motor vehicle accidents.

This book, based on the authors' broad clinical experience, is divided into ten chapters. The first deals well with the history of gunshot wounds. The outstanding second chapter on ballistics is thorough, well organized, remarkably informative, and succinct. The remaining eight chapters are concerned with the management of specific areas, eg, head, neck, abdomen, genitourinary tract, and extremities. Though as pointed out by the authors, "The immediate treatment of a patient who has sustained a gunshot wound does not differ from that care rendered to any patient who is acutely injured," the peculiar