Escalating violence across U.S. cities prompts everyday people and police officers alike to consider the heightened risk of being the target of violence. It’s no secret that the 2020 riots resulted in civilians and trained peace officers sustaining blunt force traumas that required emergency care, and hospitalizations.
Making matters worse, the number of police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty reportedly skyrocketed from 128 in 2019 to 264 in 2020. Non-fatal blunt force injuries also soared. Police officers reportedly sustain an injury rate of approximately 23.5 per 10,000 compared to only 2.8 per 10,000 in all other occupations. The risk of hard impacts has risen to a staggering rate. That’s why officers need information about blunt force trauma and protective gear when on duty.
What Qualifies As Blunt Force?
A blunt force trauma generally refers to a non-penetrating impact to the head, torso, or extremities as the result of a violent attack using a dull object. By contrast, penetrating injuries typically involve sharp objects such as knives or high-velocity projectiles such as bullets resulting in an open wound. The severity of a blunt force injury involves the weight, speed, and where it impacts the body. Depending on these factors, a civilian or law enforcement official could sustain the following types of injuries.
- Contusion: Commonly known as a bruise, veins, and capillaries near the skin’s surface become ruptured from the impact, and pools of dead blood cells form.
- Abrasion: Scraped skin and relatively minor bleeding occur when a rough object strikes the surface of the skin.
- Laceration: Jagged weapons can tear through the skin causing significant bleeding in conjunction with blunt force trauma.
- Fracture: Hard impacts from items such as bats, bricks, and other dense weapons can crack, snap, or shatter bones.
- Damaged Organs: Blows to an unprotected mid-section or head can cause internal organs and traumatic brain injuries. The spleen, liver, kidneys, and lungs rank among the most vulnerable organs to body blows.
It’s also not uncommon for everyday people and police officers to shrug off what appears to be only a minor blunt force trauma injury. Medical attention remains advisable because injured people may suffer a blood clot well after the impact. Blood clots routinely travel to vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and brain before jeopardizing someone’s health and welfare.
Ways To Keep Safe
Several strategies can help protect community members and law enforcement professionals from sustaining an injury from a violent attacker. Civilians are advised to recognize their surroundings and avoid putting themselves in a risky situation whenever possible. Precaution such as having car keys ready when parked in remote places and not walking alone after dark rank among the common sense ways to avoid criminals.
But police officers are tasked with engaging and arresting violent offenders. That’s why law enforcement officers undergo training to effect arrests from uncooperative perpetrators. Self-defense techniques such as the following can minimize blunt force impacts.
- Relax torso muscles before impact.
- Block punch with the forearm and redirect the energy.
- Sidestep punches or blunt objects.
- Use a baton to deflect blunt force objects.
It’s essential to understand that patrol officers rarely hold expert-level self-defense training such as a black belt in martial arts. They are ordinary people attempting to perform a sometimes extraordinary task. Too often they must handle an experienced street fighter with a propensity for violence. Skill, technique, and training often cannot prevent devastating blunt force trauma.
Best Gear for Safety Against Injuries
Research indicates that the two most vulnerable areas of the body are the torso and head. A hard impact to the head can result in a life-altering brain injury. Blows to the torso can cause internal damage that requires surgery or may cost someone their life. And although broken forearms and shin bones may not present imminent danger, they can permanently affect someone’s health, wellness, and quality of life.
Haven Gear’s Next-Gen Products to Protect from Personal Injury
Those are reasons why boots-on-the-ground patrol officers require lightweight protective gear. Gear includes torso body armor, flexible arms plates, helmets, and as-needed accessories. Haven Gear produces a complete line of protective gear that officers need to finish their shifts safely and return home to their families. Blunt force trauma is an inevitable risk communities ask police officers to take. They deserve the determined protection afforded by Haven Gear equipment. Contact us to learn more about our products and line of protective suits!