Spent bullets and their injuries: the result of firing weapons into the sky

J Trauma. 1994 Dec;37(6):1003-6.


People often celebrate holidays by firing guns into the air without realizing that this can cause serious injury or death. The present study identified 118 patients treated since 1985 who were hit with spent bullets. Most (77%) were hit in the head. The mortality rate was 32%, which is significantly higher than for all gunshot wound victims in general seen at the same medical center. Laws have been enacted to help prevent people shooting into the sky, but more education and enforcement are required to prevent these serious and preventable injuries.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / etiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / history
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality