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December 1973

Shotgun Wounds to the Head and Neck

Author Affiliations

St. Louis; St. Louis; London, Ontario, Canada; Nashville, Tenn; St. Louis
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (Drs. May, West, and Ogura); the Department of Otolaryngology, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada (Dr. Heeneman); and the Department of Otolaryngology, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn (Dr. Gowda).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;98(6):373-376. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780020387004

Experience at a St. Louis city hospital evaluating and treating 43 victims who sustained shotgun wounds to the head and neck is the subject of this report. Wounds were superficial in 30 patients and massively destructive in 13. Extent of injury was dependent upon muzzle-victim distance.

Emphasis is placed on diagnosis and management of injuries to almost every structure in the head and neck excluding eyes, brain, and spinal cord. Included in this report is an analysis of characteristics of shotgun ammunition, which helps give an understanding of why shotgun wounds differ from all other types of civilian penetrating wounds. Our experience demonstrated that the otolaryngologist who has received training in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of head and neck should be called upon to take an active role in managing trauma to the head and neck.