Introduction: Many investigations have been conducted to research the neurological effects high impact sports have on the brain. Shooting sports and firearms in general, have been neglected, with minimal, if any, research conducted on the effect that this high impact sport has on the brain. The purpose of this study is to examine the force and acceleration on the shoulder and cheek weld of five different caliber firearms and to identify if they can exert concussive forces.
Methods: A unique apparatus, butt holster, and algorithm were custom designed and built to measure and analyze the force and acceleration of the five firearms.
Results: Four of the five firearms tested, registered peak g-force accelerations above 75 g, the acceleration required to cause a concussion (Gever D, 2007) and up to 195.29 g. Firearms can generate enough acceleration to cause a concussion on their own without the reduction in acceleration caused by the human body. Continued testing was conducted with a triaxial accelerometer. This accelerometer was placed noninvasively on the zygomatic bone of an individual to test if concussive forces were still present even after the reduction in acceleration caused by the human body. Current data suggests firearm recoil can translate as high as 185.16 g to the skull of an individual.
Conclusions: Based on the 75 g range firearms can cause concussions. Future studies should be conducted to compare accelerations and measure rotational forces with an array of accelerometers placed on the head.
Patient Care: In the future this research may provide individuals, such as those in the military, competitive shooters and even everyday people a way to safely discharge firearms and reduce the number of firearm related injuries.
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) Understand the importance of how daily tasks can become potential hazards in our everyday lives and leave a physical impact. 2) More properly diagnose patients who may be suffering from a firearm related concussion.
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