PDA

View Full Version : Need help with bullet wound to shoulder



GirlWithPoisonPen
02-09-2009, 10:40 PM
One of my MCs has been shot in the shoulder at close range with a Walther PPK.

How long can he go without medical treatment?

I need to put him a car and drive him two to three hours.

Do I need to give him attention before the drive? Or can I do it after he gets there?

The story takes place in 1937.

Thanks for your help!

Chase
02-09-2009, 10:56 PM
The largest Walther PPK cartridge is a .380 ACP, less powerful than a .38 Special or 9mm Luger. Other PPKs are the .25 ACP and .22 LR.

Apply a bandage directly to the wound(s) and maintain pressure to minimize bleeding. If no bones are involved, there will be pain after 30-45 minutes, but from personal experience, a victim can tough it out for a three-hour ride.

GirlWithPoisonPen
02-10-2009, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the info!

semilargeintestine
02-10-2009, 12:34 AM
Just make sure it doesn't hit any vital arteries. I've seen people die pretty quickly after a bullet wound to the shoulder. The subclavian artery is NOT friendly when it gets hit.

Kathie Freeman
02-10-2009, 09:11 PM
If the gun was fired at close range and not at a steep angle it would be pretty hard to miss the scapula unless the impact point was really high on the shoulder.

sirensix
02-11-2009, 07:50 AM
One thing I used to VERY good effect in a screenplay, and you can use (or not) as you wish.

I had a guy with a bullet in the shoulder, doing relatively fine, it was serious and cause for concern but not IMMEDIATE concern...

...and then the bullet moved. He fell down and the bullet shifted and tore his artery, bleeding him out in mere minutes.

If you wanted to add a last-minute OMG you could have that happen... assuming someone could then fix it very quickly. Hehe.

GeorgeK
02-11-2009, 06:02 PM
...and then the bullet moved.

They don't really do that unless they are free floating inside a vessel, which is highly unlikely, but not completely beyond possibility, and realistically would only happen with low velocity rounds. Were the bullet in a vessel it would follow the vessel and cause damage downstream when it finally obstructs something. You can have shockwave damage from high velocity rounds clot nearly immediately after the injury and then start to bleed (possibly profusely) hours to days later. It's the same effect as your scenario, but from a completely different mechanism. A bullet can't just move through muscle after it's velocity has been spent, except to be worked through it very slowly over years, and then generally the damage heals as it moves because it is so slow.

sirensix
02-11-2009, 09:07 PM
It couldn't even move due to additional trauma like being hit on the shoulder? Odd.

Aesposito
02-16-2009, 04:44 AM
1. Have him hit in the right shoulder, not the left, and as high up as you possibly can. What people don't realize is that bullets leave much more injury inside the body than is visible from the outside, and a bullet wound anywhere near the heart is likely to damage it whether it hits it or not.

2. There's pretty much no way you'll avoid hitting a bone. My vote is for the upper arm, where a through-and-through may avoid the bone if lucky.

Audrey
(paramedic by day. freelance writer by night)

GirlWithPoisonPen
02-16-2009, 04:51 AM
My MC tries to play hero and wrestles a guy to the ground who has a gun. I want him injured, but not dead.

I'd shoot him in the upper arm, but I shot somebody in the upper arm in the previous scene.

Can I shoot him leg instead? Have it go through the muscle and avoid shattering the bone?

50 Foot Ant
02-19-2009, 10:14 AM
Through and through to the outer right thigh, painful, survivable, and a pressure dressing (self-applied) can keep you going for several hours.

Right shoulder injury, you can keep fighting, blow through the pain, which turns to numbness after an hour or so, but the nerve damage you can get from that can haunt you forever.

It's when it hits the bone that you have trouble. You can still handle it if you take a bullet to the upper bone, but that arm is through if it is a rifle at close range.

Aesposito
02-19-2009, 11:15 PM
My MC tries to play hero and wrestles a guy to the ground who has a gun. I want him injured, but not dead.

I'd shoot him in the upper arm, but I shot somebody in the upper arm in the previous scene.

Can I shoot him leg instead? Have it go through the muscle and avoid shattering the bone?

Meaty part of outer calf or thigh might be your best bet.,.... although at the close range you are describing, all bets are off.

Beware of middle thigh or mid-lower leg cuz you'll shatter bones and shred arteries, which is more trouble than you want to write about.....

Audrey

Prawn
02-23-2009, 07:05 AM
If you just shot somebody in the last chapter, why not do something else? How about

Gun jams, now its a knife fight.

or

They wrestle over the gun, and it goes off near his ear, and he is deafened and disoriented.

or

Gun is a rifle, and a shot would attract too much noise, so it becomes a club.

Mix up the violence if you can.