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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Firearm-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) has emerged as a significant public health issue in the United States, coinciding with a rapid increase in gun-related deaths. This scoping review aims to update our understanding of firearm-related TBI in adult populations.

METHODS: A comprehensive search of 6 online databases yielded 22 studies that met the inclusion criteria. The reviewed studies predominantly focused on young adult men who were victims of assault, although other vulnerable populations were also affected.

RESULTS: Key factors in evaluating patients with firearm-related TBI included low Glasgow Coma Scale scores, central nervous system involvement, hypotension, and coagulopathies at presentation. Poor outcomes in firearm-related TBIs were influenced by various factors, including the location and trajectory of the gunshot wound, hypercoagulability, hemodynamic instability, insurance status, and specific clinical findings at hospital admission.

CONCLUSION: Proposed interventions aimed to reduce the incidence and mortality of penetrating TBIs, including medical interventions such as coagulopathy reversal and changes to prehospital stabilization procedures. However, further research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of these interventions. The findings of this scoping review hope to inform future policy research, advocacy efforts, and the training of neurosurgeons and other treating clinicians in the management of firearm-related TBI.


Male, Young Adult, Humans, United States, Wounds, Gunshot, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Firearms, Glasgow Coma Scale, Hospitalization

Published Open-Access




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