Folia Medica 63(6): 977-980, doi: 10.3897/folmed.63.e59428
Penetrating Brain Trauma due to Air Gun Shot – a Case Report
expand article infoIvan Tsranchev, Pavel Timonov, Alexander Alexandrov§
‡ Medical University Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria§ Medical University Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access

Cases of severe injuries caused by air guns are really uncommon, but they can lead to a fatal outcome. Usually, these injuries occur in children due to their not fully developed skull bones or in adults through less resistant and thin regions of the cranium. Most of them are accidental events, followed by low percentage of suicidal attempts.

In this paper, we present the case of a 68-year-old man suffering from severe depression, with self-inflicted air gun injury to the head. The patient was admitted to the hospital in a coma with a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 8, with severe penetrating head injury manifested with brain contusion and intraventricular bleeding seen at the CT examination. Metal particles from the projectile were seen inside the brain. The entry wound had inverted margins, abraded collar and skin defect. The additional neurological examination of the patient showed symptoms of increased intracranial pressure. The treatment started with the air gun wound care. Craniotomy surgery was also done and bone fragments around the entry wound were successfully extracted with subsequent debridement and duraplasty. The patient was treated with new-generation combined antibiotics for preventing inflammatory complications. On the nineteenth day, the patient was discharged with mild hemiparesis on the left side and with GCS score of 15.

Air-gun traumatic cases with head injury or with injury to other parts of the body are often mistaken for firearm accidents, because air guns are seriously underestimated devices. Nevertheless, they could lead to severe health consequences and severe disability. This case highlights the necessity of strict monitoring of air guns by the responsible government institutions which should apply the same regulations in controlling these weapons as they implement in controlling the firearm guns. Presence of severe depression, mental illnesses, and neoplasms are risk factors for committing suicide with this type of weapons and the control over the air weapons in this group of people should be stricter.

air gun injury, penetrating brain trauma, suicide