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svobodno11
08-07-2010, 08:18 AM
I am writing a book in which a character is shot in the abdomen, specifically to the stomach area at a distance of about 6-10 feet with some sort of 9mm weapon. I was wondering what kind of damage this would do and how long one could survive before dying. The character is 18 and is in good physical condition. I would also like to know what the character is more apt to die from resulting in a gunshot wound to the stomach, or what would come first: shock, bleeding out, etc.?

heyjude
08-07-2010, 03:20 PM
:welcome: to AW, svobodno11! I'm going to port your question to the Experts forum, where it'll get a wider read by... well, Experts. ;)

RJK
08-07-2010, 05:39 PM
If your character got medical treatment (surgery) in a reasonable amount of time, he should be okay. Without someone going in and patching up the damaged organs, He'll probably die of sepsis in a couple of weeks, if he doesn't bleed to death internally.

I've seen a guy get most of his liver shot out, and live to commit more crimes.

sheadakota
08-07-2010, 05:59 PM
Well, there are a lot of variables in your question- I'll pick a scenario and go with that-
I am assuming these few things-you want your character to die-
- he does not get medical treatment of any kind-
-he is in an isolated area-

If any of these don't apply the results will b different-

If he is shot in the abdomen and the bullet does not exit- you MC will have several options- quick ugly death or slow lingering death-

Quick- bullet hits his abdominal aorta- Big honking artery in the back of your abdominal wall- your guys has minutes to live as this is the main blood supplier to your body- it gets a hole and bye bye- lights out- ttttthats all folks! He won't even have time for last words- a few incomprehensible moans and expletives perhaps then nutting honey

Slow- bullet ruptures intestines, stomach contents, bowel and perhaps the shock wave fractures the liver or spleen causing slow internal bleeding
Your guy is going to be in a lot (A LOT) of pain- he is going to develop peritonitis in about 12 hours- this is a lethal infection of the abdominal cavity once exposed to all the crap (literally) in your gut.
that combined with the slow blood loss will send him into a combination of septic (infection related) and hemorrhagic (blood loss) shock- he could live for two- three days like this- in and out of consciousness and in agony- probably longer since your guy is young and fit-until his body starts shutting down sytems one by one- kidneys are usually the first to go- gut- lungs- heart- he would slip into unconsciousness and then die in minutes- not a pretty way to go-

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-07-2010, 11:04 PM
I am writing a book in which a character is shot in the abdomen, specifically to the stomach area at a distance of about 6-10 feet with some sort of 9mm weapon. I was wondering what kind of damage this would do and how long one could survive before dying. The character is 18 and is in good physical condition. I would also like to know what the character is more apt to die from resulting in a gunshot wound to the stomach, or what would come first: shock, bleeding out, etc.?

What does the plot need? How bad do you want him to hurt? How fast, if at all, do you want him to die?

Tell us that ans we can come up with something besides an encyclopedic discussion of abdominal trauma.

GeorgeK
08-08-2010, 04:42 AM
I've seen bullets do a lot of things. Like above, what do you want?

cwfgal
08-09-2010, 01:06 AM
I am writing a book in which a character is shot in the abdomen, specifically to the stomach area at a distance of about 6-10 feet with some sort of 9mm weapon. I was wondering what kind of damage this would do and how long one could survive before dying. The character is 18 and is in good physical condition. I would also like to know what the character is more apt to die from resulting in a gunshot wound to the stomach, or what would come first: shock, bleeding out, etc.?

A shot in the abdomen can give you pretty much any outcome you want depending on where the bullet goes. As someone else mentioned, if it hits the aorta, the victim will typically die within 1 - 5 minutes (they usually do have time to utter a few last words but typically unconsciousness often precedes death by a minute or two.) If it hits the inferior vena cava (biggest vein in the lower torso) they will still bleed to death quickly but will likely last a few minutes longer. There are other, smaller arteries (like the mesenteric) that can be hit that will result in the same outcome. A lot of the timing issues related to death with vessel damage will depend on what vessel is hit and how much of a "leak" or hole there is along the bullet track. If blood can flow freely outside the body with little or no resistance, death will be very fast. But death from internal bleeding that is relatively contained (and not in a major vessel like the aorta) will likely be much slower since the organs and skin--and eventually even the blood leaking into the abdominal cavity--provide a natural tamponade to the bleeding process.

If the bullet hits the spine you can have instant paralysis but not death if the bullet manages to bypass all the organs and vessels (pretty unlikely as the abdominal cavity is packed pretty tightly--but it does happen).

Death can be relatively swift (five to sixty minutes) with some organ damage (liver, spleen) or agonizingly slow (hours to days, maybe even months if infections set in) with other organ damage (intestines, gall bladder, stomach, bladder, kidneys, pancreas). The liver and spleen bleed very easily and any significant damage to them will result in death pretty quickly unless there is some sort of rapid medical intervention. Even with medical help, the outcome isn't guaranteed.

Bullets can also ricochet off the spine, pelvic bones, or ribs and end up in the thoracic cavity, which contains the lungs and heart. A bullet that hits the heart will typically cause instantaneous death, but there have been rare documented, flukey cases where people have survived such an injury. A bullet to the lungs won't typically kill someone right away. But it will cause either a hemothorax (bleeding into the pleural cavity--the closed space that contains the lungs), a pneumothorax (collapse of a lung with air leaking into the pleural cavity) or both. If either of these goes untreated and becomes severe enough, they will cause a deadly tension hemo- or pneumothorax. This is when one side of the pleural cavity has air or blood leaking into it that can't escape to outside the body. If it leaks enough, it eventually becomes like an overinflated balloon in the chest, filling up to the point that the heart and the other lung essentially get squished. How quickly this happens can vary some, but it typically occurs in less than an hour and with a tension pneumothorax, it can happen in a matter of minutes. It will cause death pretty quickly--the victim typically tanks rapidly with severe panic for a minute or so before they lose consciousness--and most times the trachea can be observed to have a noticeable shift in it to the unaffected side. It can be very quickly and easily reversed by inserting some kind of small tube into the affected lung space to let the trapped air out. There are specific landmarks for where to do this. It's a dramatic intervention that can literally bring someone back from the brink of death in a matter of seconds.

Hope that helps.

Beth

Nivarion
08-09-2010, 10:02 AM
What type of bullet he gets shot with is a relevant question too.

If he gets shot with a FMJ ball, it will probably go all the way through him, and most of the damage will be local.

If he's using a regular solid lead bullet the damage will be higher as the wound is deeper, but it will be similar to the FMJ.

If he gets shot with a hollow point there is going to be a lot of crush and shock damage. He's got a pretty good chance of dying from an injury from these.

And then, if he gets shot with something fancy like a Barnes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFvrr9s_M-4)... well his chances are really really slim that he'd live.

quicklime
08-09-2010, 06:18 PM
as pointed out, a lot of variables. Might be best to tell us what you WANT to happen and we can tell you how plausible that is and what sort of caveats it would entail