Table 1

Evidence found from this review necessitating coverage requirements of individual anatomical structures by ballistic plates

Anatomical structureEssential coverageDesired coverageComments
Heart and great vesselsYesYesMost common cause of immediate death1 3–6 13 32 33 57 59–68
LiverYesYesSignificant mortality through haemorrhage1 39–42 53–55
SpleenYesYesHigh mortality from haemorrhage but no evidence describing mortality rates found33 36–38 50 53 55
Lungs (excluding pulmonary vasculature)NoYesPenetrating ballistic lung injury has high mortality.43 57 Papers could not differentiate if that mortality was due to parenchymal damage or bleeding from the pulmonary arteries or pulmonary veins
KidneyNoYesDialysis only required if both kidneys destroyed. Such an injury only likely to occur with no survivable adjacent intrathoracic injury3 55
Trachea and main bronchiNoYesAirway damage is the third most common cause of potentially survivable death.3–7 32–37 48 57 However no evidence was found to state that this mortality was from damage to the intrathoracic portion of the airway
Spinal cord (thoracic and lumbar sections)NoYesParaplegia from ballistic cord damage at these levels results in poor functional outcome and reduced life expectancy44–48
Intestines (intra- abdominal components)NoYesSignificant morbidity was identified from outcomes of intestinal injury, primarily related to the requirement for a long-term stoma50–52 56