Air-Rifle Wound of the Heart With Embolization

Adrian J. Neerken, MD; Frederick L. Clement, MD
JAMA. 1964;189(7):579-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070070051017.
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A PENETRATING WOUND of the chest with embolization of the missile to a peripheral artery is a rare injury. Spencer and Kennedy reviewed this subject in 1957 and were able to find reports of 24 patients who demonstrated such a lesion, to which they added one of their own.1 We are aware of one other case which has been reported since that time.2 An additional example is presented in this communication.

Report of a Case  On the afternoon of June 27, 1963, a 10-year-old boy was brought to a physician's office after having been shot in the chest with an air rifle from a distance of about ten feet. He was pale, faint, and complained of difficulty in breathing. A small wound was present just lateral to the sternal border in the left fourth intercostal space. No wound of exit was found. Heart tones were distant and the


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