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October 15, 1982

Glass in the Hand and Foot: Will an X-ray Film Show It?

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family, Community, and Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

JAMA. 1982;248(15):1872-1874. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330150058025

Roentgenograms of 66 different kinds of glass fragments embedded in chicken legs were taken to evaluate the roentgenographic detectability of glass in an animal tissue similar in size and structure to the human hand or foot. All 66 specimens were easily seen. The presence of lead or other heavy elements was not required for visualization. Fragments as small as 0.5 mm were easily detected if there was no overlying bone. Standard plain x-ray films of the injured hand or foot are useful in determining whether glass fragments are present in the wound.

(JAMA 1982;248:1872-1874)

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