U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of Justice
The Research, Development, and Evaluation Agency of the U.S. Department of Justice
Flowchart for Evaluation of Officer Shot While Wearing Body Armor
Behind Armor Trauma Sustained
Standard ATLS® is priority
Transport to nearest Emergency Department or Trauma Center
Vest accompanies officer to hospital if possible
Evaluate Vest for Penetration
Yes. The vest was penetrated. Proceed with standard penetrating trauma management
No. The vest was not penetrated. Identify the location of the shot and proceed as follows:
Anterior chest outside cardiac zone
: Imaging (CXR +/-CT). Management dependent on results.
Anterior chest inside cardiac zone
: (CXR +/-CT) and EKG. Management dependent on results.
: CXR +/- CT
If lateral to midline back/flank:
Use UA for presence of blood. If positive, consider contrast CT scan for further evaluation for renal conclusion. Management dependent on results.
: Pain, tenderness or outward signs of trauma: CT scan with contrast. Management dependent on results.
Go to the Management Guidelines for Impacts to Body Armor .
Date Modified: November 14, 2011