After analysing the cases of 21 patients wounded by LBD-40 since November 2018, Paris surgeons have noted the extremely serious nature of the wounds, which often requires a liquid diet for about six weeks, writes La Croix.
The “seriousness of the injuries” caused by the LBD-40 as well as their “duty” as doctors have pushed 12 Parisian surgeons to publish in the British “Lancet” magazine a letter alerting the French authorities about the dangers of using this non-lethal weapon, which has already made dozens of people in the country lose an eye.
According to one of the doctors, Professor Chloé Bertolus, the head of the maxillofacial surgery department at La Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris, she and her colleagues have treated 21 patients wounded by the LBD-40 since November 2018.
“We have received people with severe jaw or cheekbone fractures. These are the same injuries that are found in individuals who have been beaten with baseball bats,” she told La Croix.
After such injuries, victims are very often forced to eat liquid for about six weeks. At the same time, the professor refuses to use the term “broken jaws” – used from time to time in relation to LBD-40 victims to refer to wounded soldiers in the First World War.
Mrs Bertolus points out that the term only refers to serious injuries caused by firearms that require heavy reconstruction of the face and the removal of muscle or skin from other parts of the body. On the other hand, in case of LBD-40 shots, “all the pieces of the face are there. We just have to wait until everything is back in place,” she continues.
French ophthalmologists sound the alarm
On May 11th participants in the congress of the French Ophthalmology Society also noted an increase in eye traumas associated with the use of LBDs. According to them, one out of every two victims in the emergency department had an open wound that required surgery and was often synonymous with the almost permanent loss of sight.
“For the LBD-40, the ammunition has a diameter of 40 millimeters, close to that of a golf or squash ball. When the bullets arrive in the axis, the orbit cannot play its role as a shock absorber,” denounced Professor Bahram Bodaghi, vice president of the French Society of Ophthalmology, at the time.