Pellets retained in body ‘ticking time bombs waiting to explode’: DAK

SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said the pellets retained in the bodies pose a serious threat to the lives of the victims.
In a statement issued here, DAK president Dr Nisar-ul-Hssan said pellets retained in body pose a significant and fatal risk to human life as they are “ticking time bombs waiting to explode”.
“Embedded pellets have the potential to cause severe lead poisoning that can prove to be fatal. The symptoms may appear within few days after someone gets shot but patients can turn up decades later. Lead is particularly toxic to children causing potentially permanent learning and behavioral disorders including violence,” he said.
Nisar said pregnant women are at a greater risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and even abortion. “Pellets remaining in body are a constant risk for heart attack and stroke. These can penetrate the skin and land in heart or brain by migrating along the artery or vein. Intravascular migration of pellets has been reported in several studies and case reports. Metal detectors and MRI scans can be life-threatening for the persons with retained pellets. Due to their strong magnetic field, pellets in body can move. The migration is particularly dangerous if pellets are near vital organs. Several deaths have been reported in patients with pellets who have undergone MRI scan. Even walk over metal detectors at airports, office buildings, railway stations or courtyards and roadside frisking by handheld metal detectors pose a serious threat to lives of pellet victims. Those riddled with pellets are at increased risk of severe infections.”
DAK president said pellets act as a nidus for organisms that are resistant to standard antibiotic regimens. “Pellets are left in body as they are believed to be harmless. At times, it is difficult to extract pellets in which case they obviously cannot be removed,” he said.