Squirrels contaminated my flesh!


From the January 2014 issue of the journal Case Reports in Emergency Medicine: "While report of animal bites contaminating wounds is reported commonly, direct wound contamination with squirrel flesh has never been reported in the literature." Until now.

This is a story that involves a teenage boy, a 12 gauge shotgun, an injury to the right buttock, and (last, but not least) a squirrel.

According to the patient he was using the butt of his 12 G shotgun to dislodge a dead squirrel from a branch over his head during a hunting trip and shot himself with a load of birdshot in the right buttock. He presented with stable vital signs and reported no pain other than at the wound.

On physical exam the patient appeared in no distress with mild tachycardia with a heart rate of 116. A  cm deep wound on the right buttocks was hemostatic (Figure 1). The edges of the wound were black and ragged, while there was circumferential surrounding erythema that extended 4 cm beyond the wound. Rectal exam revealed normal tone without gross blood and no palpable foreign bodies near the rectum. Debris was observed in the margin of the wound. The rural transporting EMS personnel promptly identified the material as “squirrel parts.”

Copious wound irrigation with saline irrigation and debridement occurred in the emergency room, during which more pieces of animal flesh were found grossly contaminating the wound. There was also concern that the trajectory and final positioning of the buckshot in his buttock rested near the anus (Figure 2). Questioning of the patient revealed that the birdshot likely traveled through the rear pouch of his hunting vest which contained several squirrels killed earlier in the day.

(Via MedPage Today)

Image: Some rights reserved by Peter Trimming.