“Long pants, long sleeves are padding to absorb impact as well,” says Dr. Glatter. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have called for extreme restrictions on the use of rubber bullets, while Israel has disallowed them except in extreme circumstances and only with special approval from the chief of police, according to a 2016 report put out by PHR and the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO). If you are hit with one, is there anything you can do to immediately lessen the pain and effects? The use of a rubber bullet is one of the more controversial crowd-control measures, says Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician in New York City. The effects can range from bruising to internal bleeding. In another case, a freelance photographer reported being permanently blinded in one eye as a result of a rubber bullet. “They’re not always rubber.” More than 85 manufacturers around the world fashion them out of plastic, PVC, and combinations of rubber, plastic, PVC, metals such as lead and steel, wood, hard foam, and wax. Think birdshot vs 00 buckshot. And there have been several reports of harm, including a grandmother who ended up in intensive care after a rubber bullet struck her between the eyes. In theory, rubber bullets are supposed to cause less harm than a “regular” bullet. If you're hit with a rubber bullet, you will likely know you were hit with a rubber bullet. If they can walk, help them to safety. “A direct hit by a rubber bullet may crack a rib or inflict a very painful tissue bruise. Rubber bullets and other KIPs are touted as non-lethal alternatives to traditional bullets and, while they may be less dangerous than traditional firearms, says Dr. Wittman, “there is absolutely a significant risk in being shot by one of these especially if the shot is at close range and in the neck and head area.”. But rubber bullets can deliver a debilitating amount of pain and carry both immediate and potentially long-term harmful effects. War Rages With Police! Going home." He tells us about his experience. If there is, apply direct pressure. "Think about taking a golf ball to your thigh," says Goodloe. Rubber bullets are less harmful than subduing people by “physical force or regular bullets, Mell said. “Most commonly, rubber bullets cause contusions (bruises) and mild swelling, but they have been known to cause fractures, loss of the function of eyes (in … If the strike occurs to the face, it could cause permanent injuries to your vision," says Goodloe. (Make sure you know ways to handle a medical emergency.). In the 2017 BMJ Open study, researchers found 53 of 1,984 people studied (3 percent) died from KIPs and 300 (15 percent) recovered but with permanent disabilities. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. "Other than for the most minor of injuries, it's always better to see a professional," says Goodloe. A shot in the head can cause a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain, adds Dr. Wittman. While many of these protests have remained peaceful demonstrations, some have turned violent. Make sure they’re engaging in that conversation and understanding what you are saying. So, how rubber bullets work is that you shoot a person with a rubber projectile. We may earn a commission through links on our site. A study published in 2017 in the BMJ found that 3% of people hit by rubber bullets died of the injury. Either way you cut it, you don’t want to be hit with a rubber bullet. Rubber bullets can also pierce your eye and cause blindness, adds Leigh Vinocur, MD, a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians. "If the strike hits you in the anterior part of your neck, it could cause significant cutting injuries or bruising of the airway. Rubber Bullets Hurt John Ruffner was shot in the back with a rubber bullet at a Black Lives Matter event in Sacramento, May 30, 2020. Wearing a face shield or goggles and a helmet may “protect the most vulnerable areas of the body,” says Dr. Wittman. And in Washington, DC, the National Guard allegedly used the bullets to clear protesters in Lafayette Square in anticipation of President Trump walking through the area. Like other similar projectiles made from plastic, wax, and … "If you’re just a few feet away, that’s going to hurt a lot. Law enforcement professionals use them to disperse crowds while, in theory, minimizing harm. It is a 12-gauge shell that contains many rubber coated pellets. The number varies, but you can get many smaller pellets or a few larger pellets. There have also been reports of collapsed lungs, fractures, chest injuries, spleen, and bowel injuries, says Dr. Glatter. Some newer versions contain tear gas or pepper spray and explode on impact, according to a study 2017 study published in BMJ Open. Warn others in the area that law enforcement officials are using rubber bullets and seek medical attention promptly. Oakville-based Security Devices International has been filling orders for a bullet that expands on impact, causing massive pain to subdue an individual, but … On the less severe end of the spectrum, they can cause bruising and pain, says Dr. Wittman. If the person took a shot to the face or neck, check to see if they're breathing okay. “Protestors should wear masks, gloves and eye protection, keep some distance between protestors, stay outside in the open, avoid touching one’s face, try not to touch other people or objects held by others (such as signs, food, and beverages),” says Dr. Haar. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Check Out This Record-Setting Mini Brick Build, Call Your Doctor If You Have Any Of These Symptoms, A Doctor Explained Conor McGregor's 'Dead Leg', Arnold Warns Anti-Vaxxers About Misinformation, Al Roker Gets First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Get His COVID Vaccine, What Your Poop Smell Tells You About Your Health, All the COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects, Explained. Brisk, spurting, bright-red bleeding requires more direct pressure and a tourniquet. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), grandmother who ended up in intensive care, Physicians for Human Rights and International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations, This Is the Scientific Reason Why Couples Get Back Together After a Breakup, You Don’t Have to Be a Prepper to Love This Disaster Planning App, Here’s Why Showering During a Thunderstorm is a Terrible Idea, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Obviously a direct hit in an eye is totally damaging to the eye. The type of damage depends on the specific ammunition used, how they’re delivered (and from what distance), how fast they travel (some travel as fast as live ammunition, according to the 2017 BMJ Open study), and other factors.