The authors reviewed 16 cases of air rifle injuries to the head, 14 of them were penetrating. While 50% of the victims were adults, almost all of the culprits were children. The entry wounds were mostly in the frontal area and around or exactly on the eye. None was perforating or through and through. The morbidities encountered were considered to be severe in 2 cases (hemiparesis), ocular injuries in 3 cases, and visual field defects in 3 cases. 1 patient died due to recurrent haemorrhage. The initial wound debridement and short course of antibiotic perioperatively seemed to be most important. Retained pellets were removed only if they were accessible. Considering the risk of morbidity and mortality and the fact that almost all of the culprits were children, air rifles should require adequate precautions and especially be kept out of the reach of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994


  • Brain abscess
  • Gunshot
  • Head injury


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