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Purplesnow
07-25-2016, 12:45 AM
Hi Guys,

3 questions that I need help with please.

I have an male in my story and first he gets hit by a car in an hit and run. But I "need" him to be knocked unconscious but only suffer a broken hand / wrist / arm. He will have a considerable amount of Alcohol in his blood stream. Is this possible?

Also I need there to be an explosion in said males flat / house that renders him dead and unrecognisable. (but it isn't him someone has planted the body and taken him) Now I read that the body can be badly burned, so identification isn't possible and if people don't want to ID the body as in his parents are out of the country and the main character doesn't want to it'll be left to DNA (don't think i bookmarked my source on that one). How long forensically has my main character got before his DNA / Teeth analysis proves the body isn't his and it's been planted. I read somewhere... that DNA can take up to 60 hours to come back http://www.patc.com/weeklyarticles/dna-timeline.shtml (HERE) if there is no back log. But they think it is him in the story so there is SHOCK HORROR and panic when they realise it isn't him. How much time do I have to play with? As the DNA testing isn't a rushed job...

Thanks Guys :)

Claire

Susannah Shepherd
07-25-2016, 01:11 AM
I have no medical/forensic training but I once received similar injuries to those you describe when I got knocked off my bike by a car: concussion and a broken arm. The car just glanced the bike and knocked me sideways: I hit my head on the parked car next to me, wobbled back the other way, and broke my arm when I put my arm out to break my fall as I hit the road. That was a hit-and-run, too :rant:

Deb Kinnard
07-25-2016, 01:14 AM
DNA is said to be a slow job. If you google the forensic examination of the September 11 remains, it sometimes took months. Of course, that depends on how much of the person they had to work with. Tooth analysis (they'd contact the supposed victim's dentist first) is much faster and will only rule out that particular person, it will not rule in someone else.

MaeZe
07-25-2016, 02:22 AM
DNA is as fast as they dedicate the resources to it. Consider how fast they IDed the remains of all those poor souls on the Malaysia jet shot down over the Ukraine. You can write the story anyway you want, just have there be a back up in the lab. Though do keep in mind the police bump homicide specimens to the head of the line.

Teeth are only useful when you have dental records to compare. Again, you can write that they couldn't be readily found.

As for the unconscious/coma, no one gets that right. If you make it up, only people like me will cringe at the medical errors around comas and the astronomy errors around asteroids portrayed in movies.

I am in the medical profession and comas and fainting are never done right. If you are knocked unconscious for just a few seconds you can wake up and have no lasting effects. But if you are unconscious for any significant amount of time you have a serious brain injury. You will not open your eyes and be just fine**. You will be groggy for at least a day if you were out for say, an hour. And your recovery will be much slower if you were in a coma for many hours or for more than a day.


**I had a patient once that was a cold water drowning, comatose for three full days with his brain shut down for all intents and purposes, a flat EEG. He woke up abruptly and was fine with the exception of not remembering going into the water. The brain shutting down with hypothermia prevents damage, thus the recovery can be more abrupt. But trauma to the head is doing damage to the brain if you are rendered unconscious.


Edited to add, yes you can have a head injury with only minor other wounds.

MaeZe
07-25-2016, 02:26 AM
DNA is said to be a slow job. If you google the forensic examination of the September 11 remains, it sometimes took months. Of course, that depends on how much of the person they had to work with. Tooth analysis (they'd contact the supposed victim's dentist first) is much faster and will only rule out that particular person, it will not rule in someone else.

The difficulty identifying victims from the Trade Towers was because they had no frame of reference and body parts (plural) from 3,000 plus potential victims. It was a whole other can of worms.

jclarkdawe
07-25-2016, 04:42 AM
Your wrist can break easily. So that part is easy. Personally rather than unconscious, I'd go for a stupor. It's more consistent with a high alcohol level. It thoroughly masks a lot of conditions, because the patient is useless. And it gives you a good hangover the next day. It avoids having to have any head injuries.

Explosions are complicated. Do you want a body or body parts? House fires rarely burn hot enough to do significant destruction to a body. We can often see tattoos and other skin conditions like birth marks. The broken bone will show up in his medical record and can be used for identification. Medical records are easily accessible these days. Dental records are more iffy and involve the person actually going to the dentist.

DNA is going to survive as long as the bone marrow survives, and your fire is unlikely to be strong enough to cook marrow. It depends entirely on the status of the case. Run time for the test is somewhere in the range of 40 - 60 hours, including sample preparation, but can be delayed weeks because of no lab time.

Body parts are slower to retrieve than an entire body and harder to identify. But you've got to have a big enough explosion and the person close enough to be ripped to shreds. That's a fairly massive explosion and will probably flatten the house.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Purplesnow
07-25-2016, 11:12 AM
Morning all, I have seen on the news houses being flattened and fronts ripped off flats so that isn't an issue,

I just need him "dead" and for her to be told by the police that he is, but then she finds out he isn't and goes and rescues him but can't tell the police, after she is shown pictures of him alive...

So there wouldn't be a rush on dna as it would t be seen as a murder just an tragic accident, but I'm guessing dna would still need to be run.

Don't want to go down the terrorist route as that just complicates things....

Tnx
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