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Balles en caoutchouc: Pas si anodines !

Pattern of rubber bullet injuries in the lower limbs: A report from Kashmir.


Cet article ne fait que confirmer le fait que certaines munitions en caoutchouc sont dangereuses (1) voire mortelles (2). Les lésions rapportées sont ici périphériques mais tout peut se voir: Atteintes faciales (3);oculaires (4), thoraciques (5), crâniennes (6), vasculaires (7). Evidemment cela dépend du type de munitions employées qui sont d'une grande variété.


Rubber bullets are considered a non-lethal method of crowd control and are being used over the world. However the literature regarding the pattern and management of these injuries is scarce for the forensic pathologist as well as for the traumatologist. The objective of this report was to add our experience to the existing literature.


From June 2008 to August 2010 the Government Hospital for Bone and Joint Surgery Barzulla and the Department of Orthopaedics, SKIMS Medical College/Hospital Bemina Srinagar received 28 patients for management of their orthopaedic injuries caused by rubber bullets. We documented all injuries and also recorded the management issues and complications that we encountered.


All patients weremales with an age range of 11-32 years and were civilians who had been hit by rubber bullets fired by the police and the paramilitary forces. Among them, 19 patients had injuries of the lower limbs and 9 patients had injuries of the upper limbs. All patients were received within 6 h of being shot.


Our findings suggest that these weapons are capable of causing significant injuries including fractures and it is important for the surgeon to be well versed with the management of such injuries especially in areas of unrest. The report is also supportive of the opinion that these weapons are lethal and should hence be reclassified.

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