PURPOSE: To evaluate the incidence and ocular effects of blunt trauma due to injury from airsoft gun pellets. METHODS: We conducted a non-comparative case series based on the files of 33 patients who suffered ocular injury from airsoft guns and were admitted to one university emergency eye clinic in Copenhagen during a 5-year period. RESULTS: A total of 33 eyes in 33 patients were examined. Thirty male and three female patients were affected. Mean age was 13 years (range 3-49 years). Mean follow-up time was 6.5 days (range 1-540 days). On initial examination, we found: hyphaema (n = 28), corneal abrasion (n = 22), retinal oedema (n = 11), subconjunctival haemorrhage (n = 10), palpebral haemorrhage and/or oedema (n = 9), iris dialysis (n = 7), intraocular pressure (IOP) > 31 mmHg (n = 4), IOP
Swedish legislation concerning firearms is highly restrictive. It is illegal to possess weapons (except airguns) without a license. From 1970 through 1982, there were 79 accidental firearm fatalities in Sweden. This number, corresponding to 0.074/100,000/year, is very low in comparison with similar statistics worldwide. Of these fatalities, 47 were associated with hunting and were studied carefully. Despite an increase in both the popularity of hunting and in licensing of weapons, on change in the number of accidents per year could be confirmed. Twenty-nine accidents occurred during small game hunting, of which 24 involved shotguns, and 18 occurred during moose hunting. The mean age overall was 46 years. All victims and shooters were men. Most accidents occurred before noon and during the autumn. During moose hunting, the victim most commonly was either mistaken for game or was standing beyond game. During small game hunting, the most common reason for death was improper handling of the weapon. Firing of defective weapons caused at least 10 fatal accidents. Alcohol inebriation was uncommon. It is unlikely that more restrictive firearm legislation would further decrease the number of fatal accidents. Instead, we believe that accidental firearm fatalities during hunting can be prevented by safer and more careful handling of weapons, including unloading weapons before transporting them; by replacing older weapons with more modern and safer ones; and by not allowing children to handle weapons. No shots should be fired until it is clarified that the target really is a game animal, and when hunting with rifles, the fields of fire should be clarified beforehand. Shooters at stand must be instructed not to leave their stands until explicitly told to do so.
This paper reports register data on a consecutive series of 141 children and teenagers hospitalized due to firearm injuries during a 21-year period in a community with restrictive firearm laws. Most of the injuries were minor and hospitalization was short. Shot by an air gun resulting in an eye injury was the most frequent reason for hospitalization. The patients hospitalized due to firearm injuries were compared with a control group composed of 141 individuals matched pair-wise for sex and age. The total morbidity during the follow-up period of on average 10 years was higher among patients compared with controls concerning both somatic diseases and injuries. All cases of severe psychopathology were found in the patient group. Criminality was higher among patients compared with controls and the former were younger at the time of the first crime compared with the latter. This study indicates that, irrespective of firearm laws, young people suffering from firearm injuries, even if the injury is classified as accidental, run a higher risk of becoming psychosocially disadvantaged and criminal as adults. This makes preventative measures highly necessary not only from a societal point of view, but also to avoid individual suffering in this high-risk group of youngsters.
An environmental survey was performed in Lake Kyrtj?nn, a small lake within an abandoned shooting range in the south of Norway. In Lake Kyrtj?nn the total water concentrations of Pb (14?g/L), Cu (6.1?g/L) and Sb (1.3?g/L) were elevated compared to the nearby reference Lake Stitj?nn, where the total concentrations of Pb, Cu and Sb were 0.76, 1.8 and 0.12?g/L, respectively. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) from Lake Kyrtj?nn had very high levels of Pb in bone (104mg/kg w.w.), kidney (161mg/kg w.w.) and the gills (137mg/kg d.w), and a strong inhibition of the ALA-D enzyme activity were observed in the blood (24% of control). Dry fertilized brown trout eggs were placed in the small outlet streams from Lake Kyrtj?nn and the reference lake for 6 months, and the concentrations of Pb and Cu in eggs from the Lake Kyrtj?nn stream were significantly higher than in eggs from the reference. More than 90% of Pb accumulated in the egg shell, whereas more than 80% of the Cu and Zn accumulated in the egg interior. Pb in the lake sediments was elevated in the upper 2-5cm layer (410-2700mg/kg d.w), and was predominantly associated with redox sensitive fractions (e.g., organic materials, hydroxides) indicating low potential mobility and bioavailability of the deposited Pb. Only minor amounts of Cu and Sb were deposited in the sediments. The present work showed that the adult brown trout, as well as fertilized eggs and alevins, may be subjected to increased stress due to chronic exposure to Pb, whereas exposure to Cu, Zn and Sb were of less importance.
Etiological factors and otological and audiological findings were analysed retrospectively in 361 Finnish conscripts who had suffered acute acoustic trauma (AAT) from firearms shooting during their military service. The most common cause of AAT was shooting with hand-held weapons without ear-protectors (50%). Other common causal weapons were antitank guns (25%) and cannons (12%). Explosions had caused AAT in one-tenth of the cases. The tympanic membrane had been ruptured in 22 subjects (6%). The frequency at which hearing loss was severest was most commonly 6.0 kHz, followed by 8.0 kHz and 4.0 kHz in that order. Speech frequencies were involved in about 25% of the ears. A flat type of audiometric configuration was observed in about 20% and a rising type (low-tone loss) in about 5% of the ears. Impulse noise from large-calibre guns seemed to cause low-tone hearing loss more often than shooting with hand-held weapons.
To determine the proportion of enucleation procedures attributable to injuries from air guns in people aged 18 years or less and to identify the associated pathological findings.
Ophthalmic Pathology Registry, University of Ottawa, and affiliated Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa), Ottawa General Hospital and Ottawa Civic Hospital. In addition, information on air gun injuries from April 1990 to December 1993 was obtained from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) database, with data from 10 pediatric and 5 general hospitals across Canada.
All patients aged 18 years or less who underwent enucleation between Jan. 1, 1974, and Dec. 31, 1993.
Eighty-five patients were identified as having undergone enucleation. Trauma accounted for 51 cases (60%), of which 13 (25%) were caused by air guns, the largest single cause of enucleation secondary to trauma. Overall, air gun injuries accounted for 15% of enucleation procedures, whereas retinoblastoma accounted for 21%. All air gun injuries were in boys (median age 14 years, range 9 to 16 years). Of the 13 eyes with air gun injuries 7 had ocular perforation and 6 had ocular penetration. In all cases the intraocular structures were severely disrupted. The CHIRPP database included 165 air gun injuries; 32 were to the eye or ocular adnexa, resulting in 26 hospital admissions.
Air guns were the largest single cause of enucleation secondary to trauma in our study. These guns are widely available in Canada and are unrestricted at muzzle velocities capable of causing death or serious injury, especially to the eye. We feel that air guns should be licensed only to people aged 16 to 18 years or older and that education in their use should be mandatory.
Comment In: Can J Ophthalmol. 1995 Jun;30(4):177-87585308
We carried out an audiological survey of 204 officers at an infantry regiment in southern Sweden. The officers were exposed to impulse noise from firearms with peak levels up to 185 dB (SPL). The audiological measurement results were summarized in four age-groups, all of which showed significant hearing loss compared to ISO 1999 (1990) database A of a non-noise-exposed male population. Even officers who claimed regular use of hearing protectors during their entire military career showed these significant hearing losses. In the survey we also studied the association of the hearing thresholds with subjective exposure to heavy detonations and the annoyance of tinnitus. We found a significant relation between exposure to heavy detonations and tinnitus.
All firearms fatalities in East Denmark during the period 1984-1987 were examined. There were 276 cases or 3.0 per 100,000 living inhabitants. The majority were suicides (80%) and by far the majority of these were men. There were only four accidents, two of which were the results of 'Russian roulette'. There were no hunting accidents. No specific decrease could be demonstrated in the number of fatal cases with shot guns, but possibly a general preventive effect. When compared with previous Danish investigations an increase in the total number of suicides with firearms was found in the period examined, whereas an increase was found in the total as well as the relative number of homicides. More information and further endeavours to limit the number of firearms in the population is recommended.