Paintball Pellet Caused Liver Damage in UK Teen


Since our society has moved away from survival a long time ago and started focusing on entertainment, it’s not at all unexpected to see that we’ve developed some forms of entertainment which make it very easy to hurt ourselves. We take no pleasure from the injuries, but avoiding them makes us feel better about ourselves.

It’s even better if we can avoid getting hurt but we can inflict some harm on others. That’s a part of our prehistoric tendencies coming back to life – we feel the need to prove our superiority, and the best way to do that is to injure, to a varying degree, another person trying to injure us.

One of the most widespread practices involving this sort of activity is hunting for sport. But of course, not all people want to go out and kill animals. Other humans just want to go out and just shoot people. But seeing as not everybody is a psychopath, we managed to create ways of shooting someone that don’t end with anybody being dead.

I’m talking, of course, about paintball. But paintball isn’t as harmless as you might think it – because who would have thought that pallets flying towards you with great speeds can get you hurt, right? Well, according to a case study published today in the British Medical Journal, a paintball pellet caused liver damage in UK teen.

The teenager was brought to the ER with symptoms resembling those of appendicitis – abdominal pain, nausea, no appetite, and fever. After taking the young man to the operating room, the doctors realized that the appendix wasn’t the issue. Instead, the teenager’s liver was lacerated and bleeding profusely.

After two or three procedures, the liver stopped bleeding the next day, and the patient’s life was successfully saved. Of course, he had to answer a few questions about what he did recently, and it turned out that he had gone to paly paintball two days prior to the hospital admission.

According to one of the authors of the case study, a doctor who operated on the teen, this is the first case ever of blunt traumatic injury to the liver caused by paintball. Solid organ injuries of this type have been recorded three times before, but never including liver damage. But of course, paintball pellets have caused plenty of injuries before:

Pellets with muzzle velocities of 100–300 feet per second are potentially harmful to ocular structures and also to the intra-abdominal solid organs. Participants and physicians must both be aware of the possible dangers associated with this recreational sport.

Image source: Wikimedia