Document Detail

Meningitis following gunshot wound of the neck.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14640287     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It is generally assumed that a missile fired from a gun is subjected to sufficient heat to render it sterilized. For this reason, retained bullets are not usually considered a source of infection. The infectious complications associated with gunshot wounds are typically attributed to perforation of a hollow viscus with leakage of gastrointestinal contents causing peritonitis or intra-abdominal abscess. There are several reports of bacterial meningitis involving the spinal cord in gunshot wounds that perforate the intestine prior to involving the thoracic or lumbar vertebral column; however, there are no published reports of cerebral meningitis resulting from a retained projectile in the spinal canal in which there was no injury to the gastrointestinal tract. This manuscript describes a woman who died as a result of unsuspected acute bacterial meningitis which developed secondary to a gunshot wound of the neck. The projectile fractured the first thoracic vertebra, lacerated the dura and contused the spinal cord at the C7-T1 junction. Meningitis developed at the C7-T1 level and ascended along the cervical spinal cord to the brain. The infection caused acute neurologic deterioration and death four days following the initial injury.
Daniel J Spitz; Abderrahman Ouban
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  48     ISSN:  0022-1198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-11-26     Completed Date:  2004-02-04     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1369-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department, Tampa, FL 33602, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Brain Death
Meningitis, Bacterial / etiology*,  pathology
Spinal Diseases / microbiology*,  pathology
Staphylococcal Infections / etiology*,  pathology
Wounds, Gunshot / complications*,  pathology

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