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cmhbob
01-20-2015, 12:32 AM
Victim is a white male in otherwise good health, in his mid 30s. Average weight. Location is South Carolina. Medical care is prompt after the shooting, and I think the hospital is at least a Level II Trauma Center.

He's suffered a gunshot wound to the lower right side, of most likely 9mm. That's all I've written so far. I don't want him to die, but beyond that, I'm not that picky. Touch-and-go wouldn't be a bad thing for some extra tension.

What are the risks here beyond simple infection? There could be kidney and/or liver damage, yes? What's that going to look like if it happens? Appendix is on that side, too, right? Anything else?

Average stay in the hospital, assuming no major complications?

Thanks all!

Drachen Jager
01-20-2015, 12:55 AM
Infection isn't a real risk, unless he's sitting for hours or days without medical attention. At least not in the short term. If his gut is punctured it could cause problems though.

Biggest risk is the bullet hits an artery, he could bleed out in minutes. If you want touch and go, have a shard of the bullet lodge in the artery, causing excessive bleeding, but not severing it entirely.

ColoradoGuy
01-20-2015, 12:58 AM
Kidney, liver, and bowel damage are all possible in your scenario. The main immediate complications from liver injury is bleeding requiring emergency surgery with partial resection and packing of the liver bed.

The length of hospital stay depends on several things, particularly if there is large bowel (colon) injury. As it happens, I just took care of 2 adolescents, both shot in the abdomen. Both had colon injuries. One was home in a couple of days because the hole in the colon could just be oversewn and closed. The other needed a colostomy (diversion of the colon) and won't be reconnected for several months. The bottom line is that you've got a lot of latitude. Do whatever your plot requires.

cmhbob
01-20-2015, 01:30 AM
Thanks, Doc.

Assuming just liver damage, what's his care going to look like? Blood replacement, of course. Stitches, or open incision? Clear liquids for a few days at least, I assume?

What are the long term implications of liver damage? He may be a series character.

ColoradoGuy
01-24-2015, 02:38 AM
Thanks, Doc.

Assuming just liver damage, what's his care going to look like? Blood replacement, of course. Stitches, or open incision? Clear liquids for a few days at least, I assume?

What are the long term implications of liver damage? He may be a series character.

There would most likely be a midline incision that would be closed with stitches, possibly a drain that would be pulled after a few days. Liver injuries generally heal quite well and his future liver function would probably be normal, although if you wanted continuing problems you could have the injury damage the biliary tract (bile drainage system), which could lead to chronic issues.

Unimportant
01-24-2015, 02:44 AM
I think it would depend on the type of gun/bullet (?) Some just make a nice neat little hole, while others go all splodey and messy. Or so I vaguely understand.

As others have noted above, you can live fine with only one kidney, and the liver repairs itself well, so neither of them are likely to cause long-term issues. Unrepairable intestinal/colon damage does cause long term issues, but they're not very, er, romantic, so it depends on if you want this character to be sharing with readers details of his diet, elimination, GI distress, etc.