Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/87037
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Type: Journal article
Title: Air embolism: an unusual cause of delayed death following gunshot wound to the chest
Author: Temlett, J.
Byard, R.
Citation: Medicine Science and the Law, 2011; 51(1):56-57
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0025-8024
2042-1818
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Julia Temlett and Roger W Byard
Abstract: A 29-year-old man was shot in the chest twice sustaining extensive contusion of the right lung. He was, however, clinically stable with no major vessel injury or significant blood loss. Unexpected cardiac arrest occurred hours after hospital admission due to left coronary artery air embolism. Lung parenchymal damage from the passage of two projectiles within the chest wall close to the pleural cavity had occurred, with disruption of the capillary-alveolar interface and passage of air into the pulmonary venous circulation. While tangential gunshot wounds to the chest wall may rarely cause air embolism, symptoms are usually immediate. The present case demonstrates, however, that death may occur unexpectedly some time after the initial trauma in an individual who is considered clinically stable.
Keywords: Coronary Vessels; Humans; Heart Arrest; Embolism, Air; Wounds, Gunshot; Forensic Pathology; Adult; Male; Lung Injury
Rights: © 2011, The British Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0030010903
DOI: 10.1258/msl.2011.010166
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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