Feet as Weapons Do Serious Damage

Feet Can Be More Damaging Than Fists, Objects

From the WebMD Archives

Dec. 13, 2006 -- When used as weapons, your feet may be the deadliest part of your body.

They may do more damage than blunt objects or sharp objects, a new study shows.

Data came from nearly 25,000 people treated over six years at an emergency department in Cardiff, Wales.

The researchers included Jonathan Shepherd, PhD, a professor at Cardiff University's School of Dentistry.

Their study only includes nonfatal injuries, unrelated to guns, that were severe enough to send someone to the University Hospital of Wales' emergency department between 1999 and 2005.

The university's emergency department serves 1.5 million people in the Cardiff area.

Seven percent of the patients' injuries were inflicted by kicking, compared with 15% by other body parts (such as fists), 11% by blunt objects, and 10% by sharp objects.

Patients who came to the ER because they had been kicked had the most severe injuries, followed by patients hurt by blunt objects, other body parts (such as fists), and sharp objects.

Most of the injuries were to the face, head, or neck.

Three-quarters of the patients were men. Patients in their late 40s were most likely to be seriously injured. One in four patients said they had been attacked by three or more people.

"Preventing the use of feet in violence, and preventing group violence should be major priorities," write Shepherd and colleagues.

Their study appears in Injury Prevention.

Show Sources

SOURCES: Brennan, I. Injury Prevention, December 2006; vol 12: pp 395-399. News release, BMJ Specialist Journals.

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