Dye Pack Injury Causing Third-Degree Burns

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A 42-year-old African-American male patient allegedly robbed a community bank. Upon leaving the bank a dye pack device detonated causing full thickness burn to the left thigh as well as second-degree burns to areas of his left leg, right leg, penis, and scrotum. The patient underwent surgical debridement and grafting of the left thigh burn wound. He had 100% graft take, and was discharged into the care of the Federal Bureau of Investigation awaiting trial for bank robbery. Security dye packs are stacks of currency bills, which are sewn together with a hollow chamber containing tear gas, smoke devices, or a dye and can be bent or folded. No previous reports of burn injuries secondary to dye packs have been reported in the literature. Of interest, however, personal injury lawsuits on the part of the accused have been tried in the court system. The continued evolution of theft, law enforcement, and antipersonnel devices underscores the importance that burn care providers be made aware of the mechanisms of action and injury associated with these devices.

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