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Agrawal A, Malla G, Joshi S, Kumar A, Koirala S
Correspondence: Dr Amit Agrawal, email@example.com
Atypical gunshot wounds are caused by a diverse set of parameters relating to weapons and ammunition. We report a previously-unreported and atypical mode of gunshot wound produced by a detached rear end of the barrel of a gun following accidental gun fire, and discuss the difficulties in the management. A 36-year-old man presented to the emergency department with an alleged history of injury on the forehead with the rear end of a gun barrel following accidental gunfire while cleaning the nozzle. Since the time of injury, the patient was in an altered sensorium and had weakness on the right side of the body. There was minimal but continuous bleeding from the wound, with extrusion of brain matter. Skull radiograph showed that the rear end of the barrel had entered the left frontal bone, with associated depressed fracture of the frontal bone. The patient underwent a bicoronal, bifrontal craniotomy with a T-shaped extension towards the barrel to facilitate the reflection of the scalp flap and to avoid any movement of the barrel as it might further injure the brain. Necrotic brain, dura and bone pieces were removed. The patient was doing well at follow-up except for mild residual motor deficits. This case illustrates that while working with limited facilities, particularly in underdeveloped countries, a careful clinical assessment, interpretation of available images and a judicious operative approach can help to save the patient.
Keywords: cerebral trauma, firearm injury, gunshot wound, skull trauma
Singapore Med J. 2008; 49(9): e238-41