, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 1589-1594
Date: 06 May 2014

Bihemispheric gunshot wounds: survival and long-term neuropsychological follow-up of three siblings

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Abstract

Purpose

Penetrating gunshot wounds to the head (GSWH) have notoriously poor outcomes with extremely high mortality. Long-term follow-up data of affected children is scant in the medical literature. This report summarizes clinical presentation, management, and long-term outcomes from three children who survived “execution style” frontal, bihemispheric gunshot wounds with no or minimal surgical intervention.

Methods

A retrospective chart review of available medical records and outcomes from standardized, validated psychological instruments was undertaken, summarized, and evaluated.

Results

Despite bihemispheric injuries in each patient, no patient required operative intervention. Each child survived without readily evident neurologic impairment; however, the extent of impaired executive function varied widely, and severe disinhibition remains profoundly disabling in one survivor.

Conclusions

Bihemispheric penetrating gunshot injuries are not uniformly fatal and can occasionally be associated with long-term favorable survival; however, impaired executive function has significant potential to be profoundly disabling in these injuries.