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Gunshot wound

Injury caused by a bullet / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A gunshot wound (GSW) is a penetrating injury caused by a projectile (e.g. a bullet) from a gun (typically firearm or air gun).[11][12] Damages may include bleeding, bone fractures, organ damage, wound infection, loss of the ability to move part of the body and, in more severe cases, death.[2] Damage depends on the part of the body hit, the path the bullet follows through the body, and the type and speed of the bullet.[12] Long-term complications can include bowel obstruction, failure to thrive, neurogenic bladder and paralysis, recurrent cardiorespiratory distress and pneumothorax, hypoxic brain injury leading to early dementia, amputations, chronic pain and pain with light touch (hyperalgesia), deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolus, limb swelling and debility, lead poisoning, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[1][2][13]

Quick facts: Gunshot wound, Specialty, Symptoms, Complicat...
Gunshot wound
Skull, viewed from side, with hole on parietal bone from bullet exit
Male skull showing bullet exit wound on parietal bone, 1950s
SpecialtyTrauma surgery
SymptomsPain, deformity, bleeding,[1][2] Death
ComplicationsPTSD, lead poisoning, nerve injury,[1][2][3] wound infection, sepsis, brain damage, gangrene, disability, amputation[4]
Risk factorsIllegal drug trade, ignorance of firearm safety, substance misuse including alcohol, mental health problems, firearm laws, social and economic differences, some occupations[5][6]
PreventionFirearm safety, not being involved in crime[7][8]
TreatmentTrauma care[9]
Frequency1 million (interpersonal violence in 2015)[10]
Deaths251,000 (2016)[5]

Factors that determine rates of gun violence vary by country.[5] These factors may include the illegal drug trade, easy access to firearms, substance misuse including alcohol, mental health problems, firearm laws, social attitudes, economic differences and occupations such as being a police officer.[5][6] Where guns are more common, altercations more often end in death.[14]

Before management begins it should be verified the area is safe.[9] This is followed by stopping major bleeding, then assessing and supporting the airway, breathing, and circulation.[9] Firearm laws, particularly background checks and permit to purchase, decrease the risk of death from firearms.[7] Safer firearm storage may decrease the risk of firearm-related deaths in children.[8]

In 2015, about a million gunshot wounds occurred from interpersonal violence.[10] In 2016, firearms resulted in 251,000 deaths globally, up from 209,000 in 1990.[5] Of these deaths 161,000 (64%) were the result of assault, 67,500 (27%) were the result of suicide, and 23,000 (9%) were accidents.[5] In the United States, guns resulted in about 40,000 deaths in 2017.[15] Firearm-related deaths are most common in males between the ages of 20 to 24 years.[5] Economic costs due to gunshot wounds have been estimated at US$140 billion a year in the United States.[16]