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Kado
11-15-2011, 12:24 PM
I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.

1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Sorry for the dumb questions; I really have no idea.

BotByte
11-15-2011, 01:33 PM
A rifle is a high velocity gun so the round would go through the body. A small chunk of flesh would be removed the back of the shoulder. A small amount of blood would be present. The round will probably go through bone, so no misdirection. If shot in the left shoulder, he's in danger of hitting the heart and arteries that might make him bleed out. The man will be able to crawl as well as walk if he's not afraid of pain. Woman would crawl. They all will cry. Think of talking as if he was crying like a baby.

Rifle depends on where the soldier is from.

AK47 would be the most popular but not used my most military. M16 would be military issue by the US. I'm not too good with other world military, but that's just a quick search.

But I have to stress that if he's carrying a rifle without being a warzone, it odd enough that he's shooting with the rifle. The military only uses automatic rifles when in battle. But for operations, it could be SMGs, shotguns. Most service men rely on their pistols and hand to hand more then a rifle.


If I can get more details, I can tune you on in the scene.

Small edit: A thought and through hit, like with a high velocity round: The person at first wouldn't feel pain, the body cannot react fast enough for a couple seconds. The small wound and if the round doesn't hit any organs, the person will be able to talk but like "I-... I let him go" after a couple minutes of rest.

Kado
11-15-2011, 01:53 PM
Thanks so much for this information. Yes, it is a war zone.

OK, small amount of blood - going to have to change my writing then. I thought there'd be a lot of blood.

Gosh, I never even thought of crying from the pain. It's such an obvious reaction when I think about it now. Of course, you'd cry. Duh!

Sorry for the ignorance - never been in terrible pain myself - except for childbirth but I didn't cry during that (don't think it afforded me the ability). I couldn't speak though.

Ah, thanks for the edit. OK, so more like, "I - I let him go," sorta thing. Got it. So he'd have some difficulty. Thanks.

BotByte
11-15-2011, 03:22 PM
Well a small amount of blood at first, but they can bleed out if not wrapped. Think of about a small dot on the front and a circle about a foot in diameter on the back.

Bufty
11-15-2011, 03:58 PM
You will get more focussed answers from those familiar with the specific topic by posting in the Story Research Forum.


I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.

1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Sorry for the dumb questions; I really have no idea.

Kado
11-15-2011, 05:24 PM
Ah, thanks for that. Did not know about that one.

Edit: Erm...where exactly is the story research forum? It's not that I haven't looked - I used the drop down forum jump menu as well as doing laps of AW - and I'm afraid I can't find it.

bearilou
11-15-2011, 05:51 PM
Ah, thanks for that. Did not know about that one.

Edit: Erm...where exactly is the story research forum? It's not that I haven't looked - I used the drop down forum jump menu as well as doing laps of AW - and I'm afraid I can't find it.

It's called Story Research: Experts and Interviewees Wanted under the discussion section.

Go here, Kado. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=66

That should get you to where you want to be. :)

GFanthome
11-15-2011, 05:51 PM
I would find a nurse or a doctor who could answer these questions for you. Don't guess because a reader who actually knows this information will roll their eyes if you get any of the details wrong.

Kado
11-15-2011, 06:01 PM
Thanks Bearilou. GFanthome, will keep that in mind. :)

Kado
11-15-2011, 06:02 PM
OK, second attempt after I put it in the wrong section.


I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.

1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Devil Ledbetter
11-15-2011, 06:07 PM
I don't know all the answers, but I'm glad you asked because one of my pet storytelling peeves is when a character gets shot in the arm or shoulder and continues to sprint around, leap across rooftops, do cartwheels and handstands with little more reaction than an occasional handsome wince.

When I was 15 a very good friend of mine was accidentally shot in the arm with a 12 gauge: it was birdshot (lots of big bbs) at pretty close range while pheasant hunting. He damn near died from shock right there, was in intensive care for weeks and weeks, had to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries and years of physical therapy, and to this day is partially disabled and disfigured from the wound.

He sure wasn't leaping across rooftops, shooting back, or kissing heroines.

Kado
11-15-2011, 06:25 PM
Ah. This is good - information I mean - not good that it happened to your friend. Shock. Of course. I didn't think of that either. I don't know what a 12 gauge is. A shot from an AK would be worse I gather?

The scene is brief and I'm not planning on going into details about types of weapons or describing the wound. However I still need to show his reaction to getting shot as it's an important moment in the story. So knowing that he'd probably be crying and in shock is very useful.

Thanks again. Wow, AW is great. I don't know a single person I could ask otherwise!:)

Devil Ledbetter
11-15-2011, 07:37 PM
Ah. This is good - information I mean - not good that it happened to your friend. Shock. Of course. I didn't think of that either. I don't know what a 12 gauge is. A shot from an AK would be worse I gather?

I honestly don't know what's worse. I think the range and the site of the gunshot wound are as important in the "how bad" equation as the type of weapon. A twelve-gauge is a sporting shotgun.

GeorgeK
11-15-2011, 08:03 PM
I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.


Yes, it very much affects the answers. A rifle from the 1800's will be different from WWI, or Vietman War era vs now.

What is the setting?




1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Sorry for the dumb questions; I really have no idea.



There's not enough information to say anything other than generalities. Some people could get their arm blown off and they'd get up and fight one armed and lead their troops to victory. Most would lay there in the dirt dying of blood loss and passing out from the pain. Almost anything is possible, however there are things that are impossible like if the bullet goes through, that does not mean that there's no damage.

skylark
11-15-2011, 08:12 PM
It's worth bearing in mind that, in TV and movies, characters are often shot in the shoulder because it's relatively easy to do a nasty-looking injury there while still leaving your character with a plausibly mostly working body.

If you want the injury to not slow him down too much (and to not do permanent serious damage) you'd be much better off putting the bullet through his arm. Though even then, like Devil said, it could be a really serious injury with permanent consequences.

My personal feeling (and I've never been shot) is that he'd stop being able to walk or crawl long before he'd get to the point of being unable to choke out four words.

Kado
11-15-2011, 08:17 PM
Thanks for responding GeorgeK.

It's modern warfare - as in this day and age.

The guy who gets shot is a commander in the army (so I don't know if that fact ought to make his pain threshold higher). The shot is unexpected; he is alone and unprepared for it. They are not engaged in battle. The soldier flips his lid over an issue too complex to go into (bear with me, there is a theme of madness here).

Is that info helpful?

Thanks Skylark. I never thought about the arm. And yes, I have to have my character still being able to function so that's why I thought the shoulder. Maybe the arm would be better?

GeorgeK
11-15-2011, 09:14 PM
It's worth bearing in mind that, in TV and movies, characters are often shot in the shoulder because of the myth that it's relatively easy to do a nasty-looking injury there while still leaving your character with a plausibly mostly working body.


fixed it for you


If you want the injury to not slow him down too much (and to not do permanent serious damage) you'd be much better off putting the bullet through his arm. Though even then, like Devil said, it could be a really serious injury with permanent consequences.


correct




Thanks for responding GeorgeK.

It's modern warfare - as in this day and age.


Then I'm assuming the weapon was one of the various military, "assault rifles." That means that it's high velocity which means the shock wave damage will be greater than the initial visible damage.

The next question is the type of ammunition. Jacketted rounds are more likely to cause through and throughs. Hollow points are more likely to shatter inside someone. The simple thing is to decide what the wound is, don't mention the ammo and those who know will assume the right ammo and those who don't won't care that that detail was omitted.


The guy who gets shot is a commander in the army (so I don't know if that fact ought to make his pain threshold higher). The shot is unexpected; he is alone and unprepared for it. They are not engaged in battle. The soldier flips his lid over an issue too complex to go into (bear with me, there is a theme of madness here).

Is that info helpful?
No, none of those things are really relevant to the injury. Being an officer does not require a higgher pain threshold. The being shot unexpectantly only really affects the shooter in having a better shot, so don't make the shooter a trained sniper, because he effectively missed.



Thanks Skylark. I never thought about the arm. And yes, I have to have my character still being able to function so that's why I thought the shoulder. Maybe the arm would be better?

Destroy a joint, particularly a major one and you've killed that person's career. A high velocity round through the shoulder joint will almost certainly end a soldier's career and result in death, amputation or a very long and painful physical therapy course of treatment..

Kado
11-15-2011, 09:55 PM
The being shot unexpectantly only really affects the shooter in having a better shot, so don't make the shooter a trained sniper, because he effectively missed.

OK, this is a good point I hadn't thought of either. Will re-jig things.



Destroy a joint, particularly a major one and you've killed that person's career. A high velocity round through the shoulder joint will almost certainly end a soldier's career and result in death, amputation or a very long and painful physical therapy course of treatment..

THIS is problematic for me. I can't have his career finished. Hmm...will have to ponder this one for longer than I anticipated. Might have to re-think some plot elements.

Thanks for everyone's help - it's greatly appreciated.

L.C. Blackwell
11-15-2011, 10:06 PM
Edit: Never mind, I just saw your thread got moved here.

Torgo
11-15-2011, 10:34 PM
OK, second attempt after I put it in the wrong section.


I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.

1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Abandon all hope, ye who enter. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OnlyAFleshWound)

Also this (http://little-details.livejournal.com/2288458.html)and this (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Careers-EMT-Emergency-3552/2008/7/gun-shot-wound-shoulder.htm).

Richard White
11-15-2011, 11:08 PM
I'm going to disagree with the majority here - there are records of people who have been hit multiple times in combat (yes, even with modern weapons), who have continued to fight effectively, carry people off the field of battle, continued to lead troops, continued to run directly at the enemy, etc.

Adreneline is a powerful drug.

Now, have others been nicked by a bullet and completely collapsed into a puddle over the pain of a flesh wound? Absolutely.

I agree that getting hit in the actual joint is a devestating wound. However, there is quite a bit of muscle tissue in the shoulder where a high-velocity bullet could pass through and not necessarly be a killing blow.

In fact, some believe it's more dangerous to get hit by a heavier bullet moving slower than a smaller bullet moving at a high rater of speed. (One reason many people objected to the military moving from the .45 to the 9mm. They feel the 9mm doesn't have the stopping power and requires you to shoot the individual more times to get the same effect.)

Until someone is in that situation, it's impossible to know how they're going to react and how the wound will affect them. Although, a bullet to the heart or the brain is pretty standard, no matter how much adreneline (or PCP) you have going through you. *grin*

Note: Also, it's possible for a shooter to be a trained sniper and still miss (Sorry, George). That was the big climatic scene in the Day of the Jackal. The Jackal shoots at De Gaulle but misses because De Gaulle moves his head at the last second to kiss a medal recipient on the cheek. He gets killed before he can take another shot at De Gaulle.

Kado
11-15-2011, 11:39 PM
Torgo this is brilliant. Perfect. Thanks. Wonder if mods can merge these two threads?

MTaillard
11-15-2011, 11:41 PM
I have a scene where a character is shot in the shoulder.

He is shot by a soldier. I'm not sure what kind of rifle a soldier carries or if that is going to affect question 1.

1. Would the bullet likely be lodged in the shoulder or would it go straight through?

2. Would the guy be able to speak through the pain?*

3. Would he be able to crawl on his hands and knees (he might need to do that and if not, than I'll have to re-jig things)

4. Would he be able to walk? Well, I guess with this one I'm wondering how much the injury would slow him down.

5. Would he be bleeding profusely?


*I showed this scene to my father-in-law and he said the guy would not be able to say the line of dialogue, "I let him go" because he'd be in too much pain.

What do people think?

Sorry for the dumb questions; I really have no idea.

Some US soldiers carry M16s but most carry M4s. The only difference between them is that the M4 is a little bit shorter making it easier to maneuver and easier to hold for short people, but harder to aim for tall people. Example, I'm 6'2" and I can consistently shoot 32-34/40 with an M16 but with an M4 I can only shoot maybe 27-30. At the same time, there's this short soldier in our unit that can't even hold an M16 properly because they can't reach the grip.

The bullet would shatter in the shoulder breaking the bones and joint. Pieces of the bullet would get lodged in the shoulder.

Speak through the pain? Oh hell yes they could! In fact I can pretty much predict what they'd say: "AAGGGHH! Fuck! That's hurts!" Sorry for the language but I guarantee you won't be too concerned about being polite after getting shot. Swearing does occur.

Assuming he doesn't go into shock he'll be able to walk normally. I wouldn't recommend it but its definitely possible. As far as crawling goes, consider the one shoulder completely out of commission. That arm is getting used again for anything for a very long time. Other than that, you're fine.

Bleeding could go either way. There are some major arteries up in the shoulder there. If one gets hit, then yes. At that point, he's also not walking anywhere because he's going to lose blood, go into shock, and die. Unfortunately there's no type of tourniquet that will work that high up on the arm. If he happens to have to quick-clot then that might work, though. If the artery doesn't get hit, then you're golden.

This information all comes from military training. If you need to know what its like to go into shock, I've experienced it a few times.

MTaillard
11-15-2011, 11:42 PM
Quick note: Being shot doesn't kill you. Gunshots are rarely deadly. Its the lack of proper treatment afterwards that kills you. Any soldier (myself included) knows that.

GeorgeK
11-15-2011, 11:56 PM
I'm going to disagree with the majority here - there are records of people who have been hit multiple times in combat (yes, even with modern weapons), who have continued to fight effectively, carry people off the field of battle, continued to lead troops, continued to run directly at the enemy, etc.

Adreneline is a powerful drug.


And how exactly is that disagreeing with
Some people could get their arm blown off and they'd get up and fight one armed and lead their troops to victory. Most would lay there in the dirt dying of blood loss and passing out from the pain. Almost anything is possible,.




Now, have others been nicked by a bullet and completely collapsed into a puddle over the pain of a flesh wound? Absolutely.

I agree that getting hit in the actual joint is a devestating wound. However, there is quite a bit of muscle tissue in the shoulder where a high-velocity bullet could pass through and not necessarly be a killing blow.

In fact, some believe it's more dangerous to get hit by a heavier bullet moving slower than a smaller bullet moving at a high rater of speed. (One reason many people objected to the military moving from the .45 to the 9mm. They feel the 9mm doesn't have the stopping power and requires you to shoot the individual more times to get the same effect.)


Read anything by board certified surgeons and the consensus is getting hit by a high velocity round is worse than low velocity. In fact that is almost always the first criterion in evaluating the mechanism of injury (not to be confused with triage or basic lifesaving.) On top of that you have various types of ammo, teflon coated, jacketted, non-jacketted, hollowpoint, incindiary rounds etc.




Note: Also, it's possible for a shooter to be a trained sniper and still miss (Sorry, George). That was the big climatic scene in the Day of the Jackal. The Jackal shoots at De Gaulle but misses because De Gaulle moves his head at the last second to kiss a medal recipient on the cheek. He gets killed before he can take another shot at De Gaulle.

Sorry Richard if you somehow thought that I meant that all snipers everywhere are always infallible with every single shot, but that said, today's training and the better quality of weapons as compared to WW2, I'd put my money on a sniper.

GeorgeK
11-16-2011, 12:01 AM
Quick note: Being shot doesn't kill you. Gunshots are rarely deadly. Its the lack of proper treatment afterwards that kills you. Any soldier (myself included) knows that.

That's sort of like saying that it's not the fall from an airplane that kills someone, it's the sudden landing.

Not all gunshots are repairable and that is not limited to heart and brain, nor is it inclusive of heart or brain. Of those that are repairable, not all get repaired in time. If you get shot in a level one trauma center surgical suite and the bullet hits the portal vein between the liver and intestines, they will not likely be able to save you.

Richard White
11-16-2011, 12:13 AM
Wasn't disagreeing with you specifically, George about the ability to function after being shot. I think I referred to what felt like the majority opinion in this thread (not being able to function, not being able to talk, etc.).

Plus there's no question the various types of ammunition can have devistatingly different effects on a body. An Atchison Assault Gun - (For those unfamiliar with it, think 12 gauge magnum shotgun mounted on an M16 frame with a drum magazine) - can be loaded with 12 gauge magnum buckshot, a 12 gauge slug, a 12 gauge incendiary round and a 12 gauge explosive round. Same weapon - incredibly different amount of damage to the target.

It was only the sniper comment that was directed your way (and I'll have to say, sorry, George again about that. My comment about the sniper was meant to be tounge in cheek. Forgot to put a smiley in there. *sigh*) Please do not take it as a personal slight.

Kado
11-16-2011, 12:28 AM
Speak through the pain? Oh hell yes they could! In fact I can pretty much predict what they'd say: "AAGGGHH! Fuck! That's hurts!" Sorry for the language but I guarantee you won't be too concerned about being polite after getting shot. Swearing does occur.

I have to laugh at myself here. I have a character swear after he gets punched in the jaw but I never thought to have a character swear after getting shot. Jeez. So many things that never occurred to me. Nice to know he can still communicate. ^^


This information all comes from military training. If you need to know what its like to go into shock, I've experienced it a few times.

Yes, please, if you don't mind.

Thanks for the info. It's all being put to good use.

Mark G
11-16-2011, 01:13 AM
There are infinite possibilities depending on the weapons and the hit. I saw in the duplicate thread that Torgo posted links about what would happen in the case of a .22 caliber wound. The military doesn't use .22 because it's the "baby" of all bullets.

The time setting where your story takes place is crucial for determining the types of guns involved.

Modern rifle bullets move much faster than pistol bullets, and since Force = (Mass) x (Velocity squared), they do much more damage. This is why most militaries use (assault) rifles.
If your character is hit by a .223 caliber / 5.56mm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56x45mm_NATO)(NATO/US military) round, these are very high velocity and will punch a hole through-and-through. If your character is hit by a 7.62mm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62x39mm) (AK-47 and various former Soviet-block weapons, some NATO weapons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62x51mm_NATO)), there will be a higher potential for damage because it's a bigger bullet (about 20% more punch). If your character is hit by a sniper weapon, most of these are designed for "one shot/one kill" and they're typically the highest velocity bullet around (including US Barrett M82A1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett_M82)/ .50 cal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.50_BMG), L115A3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L115A3) / .338 Lapua Mag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.338_Lapua_Magnum), etc.) Unless the character just gets "grazed", these bullets do a ton of damage. Note that the .50 packs about 18,000 Joules (over 13,000 ft-lbf) of force compared to 2000 J for the AK-47 round. So I'd avoid a sniper round unless it barely grazes the skin (which would be considered a "miss" by a sniper)

Pistols are typically much lower velocity, hitting with much lower force. (a 9mm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9mm) bullet is roughly half as fast as the AK-47 bullet and hits with roughly 1/4 the force)

Assuming your character is wearing a Kevlar vest (Modern US Military uses the Interceptor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interceptor_Body_Armor)), then the shoulder joint would be somewhat shielded.

I'm not a doctor, but it seems like a bullet through the deltoid muscle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deltoid_muscle) on the outer portion of the shoulder would be something that could heal and not permanently put someone out of commission. I'd imagine it would take a few weeks/months to recover depending on how deep the wound was. My guess would be that bleeding would be based on the depth of the wound and whether you hit the Cephalic vein or the Axillary artery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Circulatory_System_en.svg). A big vein would bleed a lot, and and artery would spray blood out and quickly kill your character without medical attention. You're probably better off avoiding an injury that hits any of the major blood vessels. They're mostly around and under the joint so you save the joint at the same time.

As for pain, I've never experienced being on the receiving end of a GSW, but I've been injured with a lot of pain. If your hero is "tough", they won't cry about an injury. I torqued my knee out on a motorcycle when it went down, and it hurt like crazy. I was more concerned about getting the motorcycle out of the street though and limped with 2 torn ligaments to move the 450 pound bike. And I'm not even a soldier...

Your soldier might look at the wound and say "Damn. I'm hit. Now I get six months R&R! Hoo-rah!"

If you tell us what time period, that might help on the advice :)

ironmikezero
11-16-2011, 01:33 AM
Kado, you've received some pretty good advice and guidance (in both threads). I've no doubt you'll find it very helpful.

I'll offer one bit that seems to have been overlooked; people suffering gunshot wounds do not all react the same way - assuming a continued state of consciousness. Individuals tend to react in concert with their motivation, survival instinct, and training (if any).

This assumes, of course, the ability to think clearly in times of maximum stress and avoid slipping into a state of shock. Your MC must be this stalwart and resolute in the proposed scene or the story may falter.

Shock can be an insidious killer; it can sap the will to live. Proactive decisions may be beyond the ability of the victim. And worse, symptoms can go undetected to the untrained eye. A seemingly survivable wound can prove fatal; unforeseen complications can arise without apparent explanation.

Finally, remember that as the author you have considerable license to craft your fiction as you please. The closer you hold to the known realities of any circumstances you elect to weave into the fabric of your tale, the more credibility your story will enjoy. Even if you're world building and establishing your own laws of physics, you and your characters must remain true to those parameters.

Best of luck! Now, get back to writing!

MTaillard
11-16-2011, 01:52 AM
That's sort of like saying that it's not the fall from an airplane that kills someone, it's the sudden landing.

Not at all. Falling from a plane, in itself, can cause traumatic injury leading to death. With a gunshot, the damage itself is rarely what kills you. You'll die of infection, or blood loss, or shock, or suffocation, or etc. These are all things that can be treated so they don't inherently have to kill you.


Not all gunshots are repairable and that is not limited to heart and brain, nor is it inclusive of heart or brain. Of those that are repairable, not all get repaired in time. If you get shot in a level one trauma center surgical suite and the bullet hits the portal vein between the liver and intestines, they will not likely be able to save you.


Brain and heart are really the only two spots where the gunshot itself will kill you. Liver is a little "hit or miss", pun intended.

MTaillard
11-16-2011, 02:03 AM
I have to laugh at myself here. I have a character swear after he gets punched in the jaw but I never thought to have a character swear after getting shot. Jeez. So many things that never occurred to me. Nice to know he can still communicate. ^^



Yes, please, if you don't mind.

Thanks for the info. It's all being put to good use.


Shock, ok. I've experienced this a total of 3 times and its been the same damn thing every time. First time I had cut my hand open real bad and lost a lot of blood. Second time I decided it was a good idea to pop my own shoulder back into socket after it had been dislocated (it worked but I went into shock as a result). Last time... well, that was body-mod related. Just don't ask.

Let me start by saying that you are conscious and aware during the whole experience. You're going into shock, not a coma, and it sucks. First you feel hot. Real hot, and you start to sweat a little. You don't feel hot to anyone else, you feel clammy, but when your body temperature drops the air around you feels warm. Hence the reason you get cold when you have a fever.

Next, you start to feel nauseous. You might throw up, you might not. As the nausea grows you also start to become aware of a ringing in your ears. Eventually the ringing drowns out all the other sounds around you. About the time it starts to become hard to hear, everything starts to go white. It's not black, live you've closed your eyes. Everything slowly turns white, fuzzy, then pure white. All you can see is white.

How quickly this all hits you depends on your body and the injury. When I popped my shoulder back in it took like 5 minutes for me to become aware of what was happening because it happened on a crowded bus and I thought I was just hot. I was able to maintain a standing position during the whole experience until the very end at which point I staggered my way out the bus completely blind and deaf and sat down. Once I got some rest with a fresh breeze and plenty of space, I recovered pretty quickly. The last time I went into shock it hit fast and hard; all the steps took less than a minute and there was no way I was standing upright.

This is the point you start getting into the dangerous zone of shock: your blood pressure drops. That's why your ears ring, that's why you can't see, and it contributes to the imbalance - because you don't have enough blood pressure in your head. During shock, its the lack of blood pressure that kills you 99% of the time.

Kado
11-16-2011, 02:20 AM
This assumes, of course, the ability to think clearly in times of maximum stress and avoid slipping into a state of shock. Your MC must be this stalwart and resolute in the proposed scene or the story may falter.

Ah, yes. This is highly relevant in my case. I've been thinking a lot about it.


Shock can be an insidious killer; it can sap the will to live. Proactive decisions may be beyond the ability of the victim. And worse, symptoms can go undetected to the untrained eye. A seemingly survivable wound can prove fatal; unforeseen complications can arise without apparent explanation.!

Glad you mentioned this. Yup. Got that. This is all good, good. Fits perfectly into my new plan.


Shock, ok. I've experienced this a total of 3 times and its been the same damn thing every time. First time I had cut my hand open real bad and lost a lot of blood. Second time I decided it was a good idea to pop my own shoulder back into socket after it had been dislocated (it worked but I went into shock as a result). Last time... well, that was body-mod related. Just don't ask.

Let me start by saying that you are conscious and aware during the whole experience. You're going into shock, not a coma, and it sucks. First you feel hot. Real hot, and you start to sweat a little. You don't feel hot to anyone else, you feel clammy, but when your body temperature drops the air around you feels warm. Hence the reason you get cold when you have a fever.

Next, you start to feel nauseous. You might throw up, you might not. As the nausea grows you also start to become aware of a ringing in your ears. Eventually the ringing drowns out all the other sounds around you. About the time it starts to become hard to hear, everything starts to go white. It's not black, live you've closed your eyes. Everything slowly turns white, fuzzy, then pure white. All you can see is white.

How quickly this all hits you depends on your body and the injury. When I popped my shoulder back in it took like 5 minutes for me to become aware of what was happening because it happened on a crowded bus and I thought I was just hot. I was able to maintain a standing position during the whole experience until the very end at which point I staggered my way out the bus completely blind and deaf and sat down. Once I got some rest with a fresh breeze and plenty of space, I recovered pretty quickly. The last time I went into shock it hit fast and hard; all the steps took less than a minute and there was no way I was standing upright.

This is the point you start getting into the dangerous zone of shock: your blood pressure drops. That's why your ears ring, that's why you can't see, and it contributes to the imbalance - because you don't have enough blood pressure in your head. During shock, its the lack of blood pressure that kills you 99% of the time.

Fantastic. I had no idea about the blood pressure.

I can't tell you guys enough how useful this thread has been; in fact I am pretty elated.

I have spent the entire evening re-thinking the whole scene and it's so much better for it. In fact, the new outcome has far-reaching implications that may even extend into the next book. I'm kind of scratching my head as to why I didn't see the better way in the first instance. It took coming to AW and reading these responses to make me see it. Well, I don't suppose it matters how we get there so long as we get there. :)

Mark G
11-16-2011, 02:33 AM
This is the point you start getting into the dangerous zone of shock: your blood pressure drops. That's why your ears ring, that's why you can't see, and it contributes to the imbalance - because you don't have enough blood pressure in your head. During shock, its the lack of blood pressure that kills you 99% of the time.

So that's why first aid trainings have us put a blanket on the person and elevate their legs. I'd never heard from an actual shock victim before; this really brings the lesson home. Thanks!

GeorgeK
11-16-2011, 03:00 AM
Brain and heart are really the only two spots where the gunshot itself will kill you. Liver is a little "hit or miss", pun intended.

Your training was obviously not during a post doctoral surgical residency. Although your description of shock is certainly within the realm of possibility, it is by no means what everyone or even a majority of patients experience.

L.C. Blackwell
11-16-2011, 04:08 AM
I suspect part of the variation is personal and part of it depends on the cause. Shock from blood loss and shock from pain (which is what, George? neurogenic shock?) are two different critters. Not to say you can't experience both at the same time, either.

Mine was the latter (stupid accident), and I never lost consciousness or had everything get white, but I sort of felt dislocated from my body, kind of fuzzy and cold, and it was hard to talk. All my focus was on little details, like the friend's hand that I was holding onto, or the lights on the ceiling of the ambulance--my field of vision really narrowed in, even though I could still hear everything. The pain wasn't really sharp; I just couldn't think about anything else. The basic effect was that it flattened me, and knocked out all my other concentration except for that.

MTaillard
11-16-2011, 04:28 AM
Your training was obviously not during a post doctoral surgical residency. Although your description of shock is certainly within the realm of possibility, it is by no means what everyone or even a majority of patients experience.

No, my training was provided by medical experts teaching us specifically about what to do when someone gets shot. Care to argue anything else simply for the sake of being a contrarian?

L.C. Blackwell
11-16-2011, 04:31 AM
Easy does it, before Cath has to jump in here....

GeorgeK
11-16-2011, 05:23 PM
I suspect part of the variation is personal and part of it depends on the cause. Shock from blood loss and shock from pain (which is what, George? neurogenic shock?) are two different critters. Not to say you can't experience both at the same time, either.


That's correct if you're a splitter. The lumpers ignore the classifications in terms of labelling but still take it all into account when treating the patient because as you point out, there are often multifactorial causes going on simultaneously.




Mine was the latter (stupid accident), and I never lost consciousness or had everything get white, but I sort of felt dislocated from my body, kind of fuzzy and cold, and it was hard to talk. All my focus was on little details, like the friend's hand that I was holding onto, or the lights on the ceiling of the ambulance--my field of vision really narrowed in, even though I could still hear everything. The pain wasn't really sharp; I just couldn't think about anything else. The basic effect was that it flattened me, and knocked out all my other concentration except for that.

That's a more classic description of shock.

GeorgeK
11-16-2011, 05:53 PM
No, my training was provided by medical experts teaching us specifically about what to do when someone gets shot. Care to argue anything else simply for the sake of being a contrarian?

I am not arguing with you. I'm simply pointing out how you are wrong. It's entirely possible that I trained some of the people who trained your experts and obviously something was lost in the translation.

Look at your language...


Shock, ok. I've experienced this a total of 3 times ...

Let me start by saying that you are...
First you feel...
you start to sweat ...
You don't feel hot to anyone else, you feel clammy,...
Hence the reason you get cold when you have a fever.

Next, you start to feel ...
you also start to become aware of a ringing in your ears. ...
Everything slowly turns white, fuzzy, then pure white. All you can see is white.



You admit that your experience is as a patient and then you go on in a pars non toto fashion to apply your limited experience to the population as a whole and mislead a young writer who is politely asking for help. Had your language been, "I felt...I heard..." then it would be useful, because then it is obvious that you are limiting your response to your own limited subset of experience. When you go, "you feel...you hear..." then you intentionally or not are attempting to pass yourself off as an expert and you clearly are not to those in the know. It is basic English and if you frequent this board you are telling everyone that you are attempting to learn a better way to write in English.





How quickly this all hits you depends on your body and the injury. When I popped my shoulder back in it took like 5 minutes for me to become aware of what was happening because it happened on a crowded bus and I thought I was just hot. I was able to maintain a standing position during the whole experience until the very end at which point I staggered my way out the bus completely blind and deaf and sat down. Once I got some rest with a fresh breeze and plenty of space, I recovered pretty quickly. The last time I went into shock it hit fast and hard; all the steps took less than a minute and there was no way I was standing upright.



That was fine, and then you resume language that by syntax insists that you are an expert on what all shock patients experience.



This is the point you start getting into the dangerous zone of shock: your blood pressure drops. That's why your ears ring, that's why you can't see, and it contributes to the imbalance - because you don't have enough blood pressure in your head. During shock, its the lack of blood pressure that kills you 99% of the time.

What you experienced was most likely a panic attack on top of shock which is unusual but not unheard of and in a war situation even more plausible. Few outside of those just through an explosion describe a loud ringing or white light. The vast majority report darkness creaping in from the sides and sound dropping out. Normally shock will prevent a panic attack because there's not enough blood getting to your brain to panic.

Now in the interest of my blood pressure and to not derail further before the mods get riled (any more than they probably already are), I'm adding you to my ignore list.

MTaillard
11-16-2011, 10:35 PM
Aw, damn. I was intending to prove how big a schmuck you are by counting all the logical fallacies in your argument. I can pick out 7 at a first glance, too. You suck at debate: You were using faulty logic even before getting personally upset that someone actually challenged your comments for being inaccurate. Shame, that.

Mark G
11-16-2011, 11:36 PM
Sometimes it's best to pause before hitting the "Post Quick Reply". There are some posts I wish I hadn't made, but thankfully those are mostly on other sites. Things stay on the internet forever, and our reputations on this site are tied to our potential success as writers. So I try to think about what the impact of my posts will be on my reputation.

I applaud the folks here who have maintained a degree of restraint. The idea of adding someone to a mute list for inflammatory rhetoric makes perfect sense to me, but then I think I might miss out on their genesis into a literary butterfly.

Hope springs eternal.

MTaillard
11-17-2011, 05:14 AM
Who said anything inflammatory? Until George gave up the debate and put me on a blocked list it was nothing more than my own information and then defending the source of my information. On George's side, a little bit of snobbishness aside, he was merely contesting what I posted (poorly). I don't see that anything in this thread got all that heated, which is why I'm really surprised George stopped (see: ran home cryin' to his momma!) when he did. Did I seriously hurt his feelings by saying he was being a contrarian? If so, he'll have to grow up pretty quick because the world is not a friendly place.

Truthfully, if anyone thinks this was bad then I really suggest staying out of any sort of heated debate because it can get pretty hardcore. If anyone is down for some serious debate then let me know. Maybe we can start a thread in the philosophical forum that gets into a real duel of logic.

L.C. Blackwell
11-17-2011, 07:15 AM
MTaillard, I sent you a PM before I saw what you posted here. There's no reason for me to wait for a mod to show up to tell you you are absolutely and flatly breaking the rules of the forums.

The world may not be a friendly place, but AW is. While you can always point out why an argument is inaccurate, personal disrespect and name calling are not things we will put up with around here. And by we, I mean the community as a whole. Mac has built up a great set of forums and a safe one, and it's staying that way.

MTaillard
11-17-2011, 09:03 AM
Who was name calling? Go ahead and reread the thread. There's not a single insulting thing I said before he blocked me.

Afterward the block? Yes, a little insulting but only as a challenge to come back and defend his argument.

Cath
11-17-2011, 02:37 PM
MTaillard - that behavior simply doesn't fly here. It is anyone's prerogative to ignore you (and yours to ignore them) for what ever reason they choose. It is absolutely not acceptable to call anyone a schmuck, whether they can read it or not. I hope that's clear enough for you.

Please make yourself familiar with the Newbies Guide to AW (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315) before posting in here again.