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CheddarBug
04-06-2015, 06:08 PM
I'm in the process of plotting out a crime/murder story and have the general idea in place. Now for the fine details so here's my morbid question.

Say the murderer removes a piece of his victim's skin, a portion smaller than a dollar bill but bigger than a quarter. He creates the same sized wound on himself and stitches their skin over it. Am I right to assume this would not work, that the skin would just die? I'm not talking about the careful technique of skin-grafting, at least not in the way a hospital would manage it.

Thanks. :)

King Neptune
04-06-2015, 11:14 PM
Look into the history of skin grafting. The skin might take initially and be rejected later, or it might take. Cadaver and animal skin are used on burn victims as temporary covers.

asroc
04-06-2015, 11:27 PM
Say the murderer removes a piece of his victim's skin, a portion smaller than a dollar bill but bigger than a quarter. He creates the same sized wound on himself and stitches their skin over it. Am I right to assume this would not work, that the skin would just die?

Most likely. There's a high chance of infection, too. Skin grafting is a finicky procedure even under professional circumstances.

Tazlima
04-06-2015, 11:39 PM
Say the murderer removes a piece of his victim's skin, a portion smaller than a dollar bill but bigger than a quarter. He creates the same sized wound on himself and stitches their skin over it.

Eeeeeew!

I mean that in the best way. I love creepy stories. :D If you can get it to work, it'll definitely make for a memorable scene!

kdaniel171
04-07-2015, 12:30 AM
I would say there is 90% possibility of rejection. Despite the wound is relatively small, it's very unlikely that the procedure will be done properly by using sterile materials.

growingupblessings
04-07-2015, 05:45 AM
MRSA/VRSA! Your story just took a new turn.

Why don't you have this perp remove a finger or something? Unless there's some very compelling reason for attempting an at home skin graft? Does the action speak to the perp's mental status or something?

CheddarBug
04-07-2015, 04:17 PM
Because cutting off a finger has already been done 1,000 times over. I wanted something different. Having done a bit of research I don't see why a person couldn't carry this off with proper knowledge. Cadaver skin is used if harvested soon enough after death and there are things called Skin banks with frozen skin just for the purpose of skin grafts. I think it could be doable. And in the end, it is just a story. If I don't stray too far into the fantastical I believe I can make it work.

Helix
04-07-2015, 04:28 PM
Skin allografts are used as a temporary cover for wounds. They are invariably rejected within two to three weeks.

veinglory
04-07-2015, 05:48 PM
Of course frustration of not getting long term success could be what drives more killing...? or he could be developing a cutting edge technique (so to speak)

Helix
04-07-2015, 05:51 PM
Maybe the killer collects (and grafts) tattoos?

asroc
04-07-2015, 07:51 PM
You can't just take one piece of skin and stitch another one on. The skin is an organ. It needs fluids, nutrients, gases to live. So one of the most important things to do when transplanting skin is making sure it has a steady blood supply, preferably by a vascular surgeon. Otherwise it'll necrotize. It needs to be kept clean; the wound needs to be carefully debrided. There's also the very high risk of graft-vs-host disease, so the graftee ought to consider immunosuppressants.

Of course you can write it the way you want to. There's plenty of bad medicine in fiction (there are entire shows based on it, after all) and this isn't particularly egregious.

jennontheisland
04-09-2015, 05:56 AM
Also to consider, skin is stretched on you. When you cut it off, the shape and size change. There was a news story a while ago about a young woman in the UK who cut off the tattoo'd name of some guy she was no longer dating and mailed it to him. The pics from that will help you with the visual.