Bulgarian airbag absorbs semi-automatic rifle round

Implant saves US woman's life, plastic surgeon claims

A California woman caught up in a fatal shooting may have been saved by her D-cup breast implants, one of which took a round from a semi-automatic assault rifle, the Los Angeles Times reports.

On 1 July last year, Lydia Carranza was working at the front desk of a dentist's office in Simi Valley, north west of Los Angeles. Jaime Paredes, the estranged husband of one of her co-workers "marched into the office" with the rifle, first shooting his wife's brother in the stomach, then killing his wife, before turning the weapon on the other workers.

He shot Carranza in the arm and, despite her playing dead, shot her again in the chest at point-blank range. She said: "I didn't look or think about it. I just felt wet in my chest area. I thought I was going to die."

Now, the Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who's offered to reconstruct Carranza's chest claims it was the breast implant that saved her life. He said: "She's just one lucky woman. I saw the CT scan. The bullet fragments were millimeters from her heart and her vital organs. Had she not had the implant, she might not be alive today."

Scott Reitz, a "firearms instructor and deadly-force expert witness with 30 years' experience in the LAPD", described the implant as "like a high-pressure bag full of salt water" which would "probably would provide more resistance than plain flesh".

He noted: "Common sense would dictate that any time you have something that interrupts the velocity of the projectile, it would benefit the object it was trying to strike."

Reitz did, though, conclude: "I don't want to say a boob job is the equivalent of a bulletproof vest. So don't go getting breast enhancements as a means to deflect a possible incoming bullet." ®

Bootnote

Jaime Paredes is currently being held without bail on "numerous counts including murder and premeditated attempted murder", the LA Times explains.

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