Nail Gun Impacted in the Chest Wall: Report of a Failed Trail of Home Extraction by Patient’s Relatives



A pneumatic nail gun is an alternative tool to a hammer. This useful device has been used since 1959 to fire nails into wood and other surfaces at high speed [1, 2]. In spite of its convenience, life-threatening and fatal nail gun injuries can occur when the operator has insufficient training. Injuries by nail guns are rarely reported, but an increase in the rate of use of nail guns is directly related to an increase in nail gun injuries [3]. Nail gun injuries to the neck and chest are rare accidents but are important and increasing in frequency [4]. Nail gun injuries, mostly reported in adult men, are most commonly due to work-related accidents [5], but self-inflicted injuries are also reported [2]. Aliyu and his colleagues reported a nail gun penetrating cardiac injury in a 4-year-old Nigerian girl [6]. The authors report their experience in the management of a man who was injured by an accidental shooting of a nail gun while working in roof construction. In that accident, a nail penetrated the patient’s sternum. This case provides interesting and rare imaging findings, demonstrating a nail penetrating the sternum in a vertical way, with no cardiovascular compromise.