Penetrating trauma happens when a foreign object enters the tissue of the body. It can be a head injury, an abdominal injury or anywhere else in the body. Some penetrating trauma happens during motor vehicle crashes, when the force of the impact pushes an object into the body.
Penetrating trauma also includes bullet wounds, with the bullet being the foreign body. Any object can cause penetrating trauma if it is moving fast enough or with enough force.
Low velocity penetrating trauma is caused by slower moving objects, such as a knife or a bow and arrow. Medium and high velocity injuries are caused by guns in most cases, include handguns, rifles and shotguns. These types of injuries are typically the most severe, as an object traveling at a higher velocity will not only penetrate more deeply within the body, but can also ricochet and cause more damage after entry.