Intended for healthcare professionals


Preventing injuries from bar glasses

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 09 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:932
  1. J Shepherd

    The Home Office has estimated that each year in Britain between 3400 and 5400 offences occur in which glass is used as a weapon. Two surveys of victims of assault who attended accident and emergency departments in Bristol and south London found that the most commonly used sharp weapons were bar glasses.1,2 Another study found that three quarters of such injuries had arisen through assaults with straight sided bar glasses of one pint (0.57 1) capacity (“noniks” - or no nicks).3

    Contrary to expectation, three quarters of the glasses were intact until they were thrown or thrust at someone and then broke on impact. Almost all injuries were to the face, and doctors working in accident and emergency departments predicted that deformity at six months would be “noticeable” or “very noticeable” in three quarters of the victims. The British Association of Hand Surgeons identified more than 200 accidental hand injuries due to bar glasses in three months in 1987.4 These surveys highlight the morbidity produced by bar glass - mostly in young people, …

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