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December 1984

Air Gun Injuries of the Abdomen in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Surg. 1984;119(12):1437-1438. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1984.01390240073013

• From July 18, 1978 to Sept 15, 1982, four boys were treated for air gun injuries of the abdomen at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem. Three patients had wounds of one or more of the hollow viscera, and one patient had an injury only of the liver. There was no morbidity or mortality following repair. Some present-day air (pneumatic) weapons have muzzle velocities that equal or exceed those of common civilian handguns, and they are frequently used by unsupervised children. These weapons are not restricted and regulated as are other firearms, and are believed to be incapable of serious injury other than to the eye. These cases and others in the literature dispute that belief.

(Arch Surg 1984;119:1437-1438)