Volume 48, Issue 2 (March 2003)
A Review of Nail Gun Suicides and an Atypical Case Report
The nail gun was designed as a powerful industrial tool to drive nails into various hard surfaces with ease. Serious injuries associated with the tool are uncommon and deaths are rare. Unintentional injuries normally occur from misuse of the tool or from ricocheting nails. The intentional use of a nail gun to commit suicide is unusual.
This paper will review successful and unsuccessful suicide attempts by use of a nail gun. We will present an atypical case of suicide committed with a nail gun by a 46-year-old depressed male investigated by the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in April 2002. This case reports for the first time a unique pathological finding of a ring of bone traveling with the nail, which has not been seen in wounds of the head caused by other types of projectiles.