In instances of criminal cases that involve abuse, murder, or some form of physical injury, it is possible that an object may be described as a blunt instrument. This is to refer to any type of object used as a weapon that lacks a sharp point or edge. The most common weapons described as a blunt instrument include a baseball bat, a cane, and a hockey stick.
A blunt instrument exists in contrast to a penetrating instrument, which is to say that the weapon has a sharp point or edge that wounds more easily than a blunt instrument. When a person receives physical injury or harm from a blunt instrument, he or she is said to have suffered blunt force trauma. This is a medical term used to differentiate the various types of physical injuries one sustains from weapons. Blunt force trauma has various degrees depending upon the severity of the blow. A person who has sustained trauma from a blunt instrument but is only bruised can be said to have suffered a minor blunt force trauma. This means that no lasting injuries or damages are sustained by the person. More serious degrees of blunt force trauma involve abrasions, lacerations, and even concussions, that can lead to permanent physical injury or possibly even death.
In contrast to blunt force trauma, penetrating trauma has the penetrating instrument enter the body of a person. This is different from blunt force trauma, which merely breaks the skin rather than actually piercing the body.