A previously unreported fatality due to a head wound from a CO2-powered BB pistol is described. In a review of the English language medical literature (primarily forensic), ten previous reports of fatality due to nonpowder firearms were found. A common mechanism is identified in the head wounds leading to fatality. Modern day technology has elevated the BB gun from toy to weapon. Often appearing trivial, BB and pellet gun injuries must be considered in the same class as those from small-caliber low-velocity powder firearms. A patient with a nonpowder firearm injury must be evaluated with a high index of suspicion for injuries that are not apparent during a general physical examination.
- Received December 20, 1989.
- Accepted March 15, 1989.
- Copyright © 1990 by the American Academy of Pediatrics