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Gabriel Cambronero 1 Article
Penetrating chest trauma from a “less lethal” bean bag in the United States: a case report
Gloria Sanin, Gabriel Cambronero, Megan E. Lundy, William T. Terzian, Martin D. Avery, Samuel P. Carmichael II, Maggie Bosley
J Trauma Inj. 2023;36(4):421-424.   Published online September 5, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.20408/jti.2023.0021
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This case report presents the case of a 49-year-old man who presented to our level I trauma center after sustaining injuries in an altercation with local law enforcement in which he was shot with a less lethal bean bag and tased. In a primary survey, a penetrating left supraclavicular wound was noted in addition to a taser dart lodged in his flank. No other traumatic findings were noted in a secondary survey. Given hemodynamic stability, completion imaging was obtained, revealing a foreign body in the left lung, a left open clavicle fracture, a C5 tubercle fracture, a possible grade I left vertebral injury, and a left first rib fracture. Soft tissue gas was seen around the left subclavian and axillary arteries, although no definitive arterial injury was identified. The bean bag projectile was embedded in the parenchyma of the left lung on cross-sectional imaging. The patient underwent thoracotomy for removal of the projectile and hemostasis. A thoracotomy was chosen as the operative approach due to concerns about significant bleeding upon foreign body removal. A chest tube was placed and subsequently removed on postoperative day 5. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 7. At a 2-week outpatient follow-up visit, the patient was doing well. This case report is the first to describe this outcome for a drag-stabilized bean bag. Although law enforcement officers utilize bean bag projectiles as a “less lethal” means of crowd control and protection, these ballistics pose significant risk and can result in serious injury.
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J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury