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Old 02-05-2013, 03:10 AM   #1
poeticcaresses
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Need exact prognosis, recovery times, injury specifices: 9mm gunshot wound..

Hello, I'm researching information for a gunshot scenario involving one of my main characters. I've done some preliminary research with my own doctors and online and come to the conclusion that he's to be shot in the abdomen, but I'm going to need much more information than that before I can even start my next chapter. (Only two left in the book.) Here's the scenario: Main character gets shot from approximately four feet away by a 9mm semi-automatic handgun (police issue). His assailant manages to fire a fraction of a second before the main character can, but the main character still manages to fire his weapon as well, hitting the assailant in the head and killing him. My main character feels the bullet tear through him even as he watches his assailant hit the ground, and then he passes out. An ambulance is on the way, but about 15 minutes out and the ER is another 26 minutes from their location. There are a Sheriff in the room with him, two squad cars and an unmarked FBI vehicle outside, so emergency kits are available. He must not only survive, but be back on his feet and able to work/fully function within a three month period (preferably). The character that gets shot is 5'9", 210lbs and 50 years old. He is a smoker. Let me know if any more information is needed. I appreciate all the help I can get!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:26 AM   #2
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There's been a couple relatively recent threads asking about almost exactly the same info as you are asking for. I suggest you search for those (in this subforum) as I think they'll help quite a bit. Sorry I don't have the specific threads, but search for "gunshot" or "bullet wound" and you should find them. (Or just look for threads I've participated in, as I believe I posted on both (?) of them).
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:48 AM   #3
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There is no precise way to determine how long it would take for someone to recover from such an injury. Individuals recover at different rates. You specified an abdominal wound, but that allows variation depending on exactly what was damaged. With three months to recover, the character should do O.K., unless there was major damage to something.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:51 AM   #4
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For abdomen shot, search for peritonitis. I think that's the word. Very lethal condition if not treated properly and quickly.

Peritonitis can happen when the thin membrane lining the abdominal wall becomes infected. One of the ways it becomes infected is if the gut, gestural or bile duct is also pierced and leaks into the abdominal wall. Or something like that...

I know that medics in the armed services are warned about this with abdominal wounds...
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. (all) I guess what I really am looking for is exactly where in the abdomen can someone be shot at high velocity with a 9mm semi automatic pistol and sustain minimal damage, but still most likely pass out due to the injury. I'm thinking most likely upper/outer abdomen with a through and through. Mostly muscle and tissue dammage. It doesn't have to be a through and through though. It could be something where they just decide to leave the bullet in because it's of no real danger of going anywhere and not worth the risk of surgery to take out.

PS - I have read the other bullet wound threads.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:30 AM   #6
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You could have it go through his side. It would be lateral edge of the upper abdomen. Perhaps have it bounce off a rib or shatter a rib. That would be very painful and likely put him out at the scene both from bleeding and pain. If you need him to be very sick for a short time have him bleed out at the scene and go into hypotensive shock, since you said it took awhile for help to arrive. He can die fast from blood loss but can also be saved with the interventions of large bore IVs, iv fluids, and blood transfusions. He could easily be out of the hospital in a couple weeks.
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Ps I apologize for any misspellings. I'm on kindle and it does weird stuff.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poeticcaresses View Post
... shot at high velocity ...
First issue: 9mm handgun is not generally considered high velocity. And at four feet, velocity won't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poeticcaresses View Post
... pass out due to the injury.
Many people will pass out simply due the fact they were shot. It's not a wound-exclusive event.

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Originally Posted by poeticcaresses View Post
Mostly muscle and tissue dammage.[sic]
There's almost no significant muscle to damage in the abdomen.

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Originally Posted by poeticcaresses View Post
... they just decide to leave the bullet in ...
Bullets don't get left in unless they are embedded in a critical nerve area, meaning brain or spine.

Given the time restrictions you have, serious arterial damage is out. Without IV fluids available he would have serious issues. Small/Large intestines are pretty good areas, but don't provide for a medical reason to pass out. Almost no bullet wounds that do not hit the spinal/brain system or cause serious arterial damage will cause a loss of consciousness in any immediate time frame.

A better wound would be a femoral artery hit below the groin. Can drop a guy from the hit, keep him out from the blood loss and be survivable with trained personnel on site with minimal recovery time. This is one of the few arterial wounds that can be treated with minimal supplies yet result in severe loss of blood pressure and unconsciousness.

Pancreas and liver also provide some options, though both are hard to hit without other, more major, damage. Neither would, normally, require extensive recovery.

Good luck.

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:04 PM   #8
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Aside from what others have mentioned, you could have him go septic from the cavitation wave...though it would be pretty small due to the low energy of the weapon...
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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If you just want him out of action for a few months, then it might be easier to have a leg wound. Getting shot in the thigh and having bleeding from the femoral artery would put him out of action, and getting the femur broken would keep hiom out of action for a few months.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:06 AM   #10
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Ok, so I've just been informed that my weapon is wrong for the scenario. The assailant is an FBI agent (dirty) and apparently the weapon would be a 40 caliper ac not 9mm. I'm guessing this changes everything. *sigh*
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:49 AM   #11
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40 caliper ac not 9mm
I'm guessing you mean .40 caliber (not "caliper," and note the decimal point ), meaning .40 S&W, or .45 ACP (stands for "automatic colt pistol"). I'm not an expert on the FBI, but a quick google search tells me they usually carry Glock 22's or 23's, which would be .40 S&W, though maybe some carry 1911's?, which would be .45 ACP.

Sorry for the correction if that was just a typo; I just wanted to chime in in case you found it helpful. If not, carry on.

(gun person, not a wound person)
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:39 AM   #12
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The wound would be similar regardless of the make, model, and size of the handgun, so don't worry about changing the wound.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
I'm guessing you mean .40 caliber (not "caliper," and note the decimal point ), meaning .40 S&W, or .45 ACP (stands for "automatic colt pistol"). I'm not an expert on the FBI, but a quick google search tells me they usually carry Glock 22's or 23's, which would be .40 S&W, though maybe some carry 1911's?, which would be .45 ACP.

Sorry for the correction if that was just a typo; I just wanted to chime in in case you found it helpful. If not, carry on.

(gun person, not a wound person)
No apologies necessary! It was not a typo, but a true mistake and I am thankful for the information!
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:36 AM   #14
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The wound would be similar regardless of the make, model, and size of the handgun, so don't worry about changing the wound.
Ok, that's a relief. I'm relatively sure I've figured out how I'm going to write it. I'll work out the kinks as I go. Thanks for the help, everyone!
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