(BREAKING WIDE) – Texas Doctors say Rubber Bullets used against Protesters can Cause Serious Injuries.
Doctors in Austin warned Friday against police use of “less lethal” weapon for crowd control after they treated people who were severely hurt during protests in May. Patients ranged in age from 16 to 54, and five of those injured had head injuries. Two had facial fractures and 12 had other injuries, including bruises, cuts and other bone fractures.
In a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 12 doctors from the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas said Austin police who fired beanbag rounds and rubber bullets caused injuries including bleeding on the brain and a skull fracture.
“I have been around the world and I have never seen beanbag injuries like this ever,” said Dr. Jayson Aydelotte, who helped author the letter, according to The Associated Press. “I always thought they bruised your chest and that is it.”
Aydelotte, a trauma surgeon at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, said that based on his experiences in the military, beanbag bullet injuries resemble those caused by a regular bullet. He said the doctors were surprised at the severity of the impact wounds suffered by the patients.
Patients were seen at a Level 1 trauma center in Austin. Seven underwent operations for their injuries, according to the letter.
“One patient presented with a depressed parietal skull fracture with associated subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages, leading to emergency intubation, decompressive craniectomy, and a prolonged stay in the intensive care unit,” the doctors said. “Another patient presented with a depressed frontal bone fracture with retained beanbag, which was treated with an emergency craniotomy and cranioplasty.”
The doctors’ findings come during a nationwide reckoning about the use of force by police against largely protesters seeking racial justice.
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