A common misconception is that a blank cartridge fired from a gun is not dangerous and will not cause serious injury. In fact serious injury and even death can occur if a blank cartridge is fired at someone.


Risk factors for serious injury:

(1) very young or very old

(2) discharged close to the person

(3) discharged into a vulnerable area (head, neck, thorax, major artery, liver or spleen)

(4) failure to take the wound seriously

(5) moderate to heavy load


Mechanism of injury:

(1) energy imparted by the gas jet

(2) thermal injury from the gas jet

(3) pieces of plastic or other debris in the cartridge


Types of injury:

(1) burn

(2) hematoma

(3) foreign body

(4) blast injury to soft tissue

(5) subarachnoid hemorrhage

(6) ocular trauma

(7) vascular injury with hemorrhage or thrombosis


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