1. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    How quickly do you come around from being knocked out?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Shadowfax, Aug 12, 2016.

    I think I'm hoping for some input from @GingerCoffee

    I've got a character who's been knocked out...hit about the head, three times, with a fist holding a handgun. He's probably struck his head against a tiled wall/floor on his way down. Certainly, he's bleeding from some injury (probably soft tissue caused by the metal of the gun)

    1/ How long before he comes around from it?
    2/ Would moving him shorten the time taken to come around? (My MC thinks he's killed him, and is trying to get rid of the body)
    3/ HOW would he be when he comes around? Woolly-headed? Amnesia?
     
  2. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Well, I'm not who you're looking for, but I know a little bit about concussions and head trauma.

    1. Seconds to minutes. Likely no more than 3-4 minutes at most, and that's rare.
    2. Yes.
    3. Disoriented. Dizzy. Momentary confusion. Headache. Classic concussion systems, basically. The tissue damage will cause more pain, and blood may have trickled into his eyes, which sucks something awful. If he's struck with the butt-end of a handgun hard enough to get knocked out then chances are good he's fractured his skull too.

    Ultimately, the longer you want your character unconscious, the more problems he's going to have when he wakes up (if you're shooting for realism). The severity of the head injury correlates with the amount of time spent unconscious, so keep that in mind. People who get knocked out longer than a few minutes don't always wake up, and when they do, they're in no condition to do anything but go straight to the hospital.

    EDIT: Ever watch UFC? Those guys, even when they get creamed, sometimes wake up on their own mere seconds after getting crushed.
     
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  3. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought you were a doctor like I'm a shadow...

    Thanks for this...my MC's going to have to get his skates on!

    ETA: I'm seeing the blow as being basically a punch with the back of the hand, but that hand is holding the gun so it will land with more force from the greater inertia of the greater weight, and will probably have the metal of the gun come into contact with the skin.
     
  4. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Ah, yes, well... I'm the other kind of doctor.
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Witch kind of doctor?
     
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  6. Dr. Mambo
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    Dr. Mambo Active Member

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    Not the witch kind, but I see what you did there.
     
  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I think it depends on the individual, as to how long they would remain unconscious. As well as their bodies ability to handle taking a beating in general. Using a UFC/MMA fighter as an example is one of the extreme ends of the spectrum, as well as a pampered never been harmed priss.

    All that out of the way, you could be looking at a few seconds dazed/disoriented, to possibly out for an hour or more. The harder the hit the probability goes up for a potential TKO, although an extreme impact could kill them if enough force is applied. Though you could instead go for the old glass jaw, or sleeper hold to subdue them. Also less likely to kill them.
    The pain interpreted by the brain must be sufficient enough to temporarily shut down all but basic living functions. With an extreme amount of sensory overload to the negative stimuli and the persons ability to tolerate that stimuli are factors that must be considered. An UFC/MMA fighter trains to take and does take such physical abuse regularly, and would need something much stronger to take them out than a simple blow to the head with the butt of a pistol. Unless said person can produce enough applied force that would out weigh their ability to withstand it.

    Not very technical but that is how I understand how it works. Think of a torture victim, they will pass out from the immense amount of pain stimuli. Even accidents like a significant vehicle crash can render the body inert for a indeterminate amount of time due to the physical shock to the body.
     
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  8. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, @Cave Troll

    My victim is nothing special, in fact he's a bit of a wimp...certainly not MMA trained (abused?). I don't want him to come around quickly (this isn't Jack Bauer!), I want to know how long I can leave him out; 3-4 minutes is a bit too short for my purposes, but on the other hand, he's a minor character; I'm not sure if I care whether he comes around again, or whether he can suffer brain damage later.

    So, I think I'm going to have him out for about an hour, is found and taken to hospital.

    Next question, what kind of care would he have? He's going to be an obvious victim of violence, so what would the police (UK) do as far as witness protection?
     
  9. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    A person hit three times on the head with a gun and then hitting a hard surface floor, isn't necessarily going to come around at all.

    Moving him around more would make him bleed internally more and probably help kill him.

    How would he be when he came around? If he came around, he'd probably be in very bad shape for a good long time. I got hit similarly, but less severely, and it took me two weeks before I could talk and anyone could make sense of what I said. A friend of mine was hit more similarly to your description, and never came right. Talks with a slur, can't move one arm and leg much at all, and is mentally handicapped.

    The issue is that such a fall can cause widespread neuronal damage to the brain. Permanent.

    My suggestion for something probable and possible, would be to have the assailant START beating the guy, and have him be interrupted by something. The victim would wake up hours later (with medical care) and be confused, though not necessarily have complete amnesia. Over a few days the guy would improve and be able to remember bits and pieces of what happened, but not all of it.
     
  10. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    End of the day it really depends on the individiual, and the individual doing the hitting, and also how he was hit - for example being pistol whipped with the barrell would cause a lot less damage than being hit flat on with the butt

    at one end of the spectrum a trained fighter could be hit on the hard parts of the head lightly and roll away from the blows and maybe not be knocked out at all, while at the other end someone could be caught unawares and hit once with a gun but and it could kill them.

    You've also got to account for adrenalin and the effect it has on the human body

    from personal experience (I'm towards the first end of the spectrum being ex forces and substantial martial arts experience) while working bar security 15 or so years ago I was once flattened with a bar stool during a brawl (and take my word they don't splinter apart like they do in holywood), I hit the ground rolled over and got straight back up restrained the guy who'd hit me, and then carried helping colleagues dealing with the various other fighters

    circa 20 minutes later with the fight under control and the police on the scene i felt a bit woozy, went to sit down and fell over , and woke up in hospital 8 hrs later with a hairline fractured skull and serious concussion - the doc told me that if I didnt have such a hard head, and the training and reactions to minimise the impact it would probably have killed me

    (as an aside I'd say that holywood et al are down right irresponsible in the way they portray people getting hit with chairs, bottles, crowbars etc and just shrugging it off - it gives your average chucklehead the idea that its okay to hit a security man with a chair , assuming of course he cares)
     
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  11. theamorset
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    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I have a friend who worked as an EMT and said exactly, that movies and books are unrealistic in how people shake things off.
    '
    I got beat up once...I was sick for weeks. It was incredibly damaging.

     
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  12. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this has happened before, but I do wonder why anyone would lessen their chance of replies by directing a question to a specific person, especially when it's something like this which most of us could have a good, educated guess at.

    I have nothing against GingerCoffee, and I'm sure they are more qualified than most to answer this (I assume that's why you've addressed them directly) but if that's the case explain why, so that the rest of us don't turn away from the thread with the impression you wouldn't be interested in our opinion.
     
  13. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I think he/she/it is a nurse or a doctor or similar (I 'm not sure why i think that mind you)
     
  14. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I've been knocked out twice in my life. The first time was when I was seventeen and was hit by a car. They told me that I regained consciousness within a few minutes, and don't remember having any other problems staying awake, although the pain from two broken femurs may have had something to do with that. Although I was in the hospital months recuperating, I don't remember any serious mental side effects. But of course I wasn't walking around right afterwards ... in fact, I wasn't vertical for four months.

    The second time was when I was hit on the head by a hang glider while standing on the beach. (Moral: don't turn your back on a novice hang glider pilot!) I came to within a minute or two, and aside from having a slight headache and some very sore neck muscles, there wasn't anything to prevent me from walking a half a mile back to my car and driving home.

    In either case, I doubt that if this had happened in football, I would have been allowed back on the field. We know so much more about concussions nowadays than we did before, and I'm sure I suffered a mild concussion both times.

    It occurs to me that your MC might not have been that badly hurt, but that he bled a lot from scalp lacerations. The bad guy was rattled enough at the sight of blood to believe the worst, but the MC might have been smart enough to feign unconsciousness or death and allow the bad guy to drag him around.
     
  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks to everyone who's responded.

    To clear up a few points:

    1/ @GingerCoffee is a nurse practitioner of some years experience, so is likely to have seen several similar cases, and thus be able to give me a "this is what's likely to happen" based upon a statistical base that is more valid than "I got hit once, and this is what happened to me" - apologies if this sounds harsh to anybody who's been hit, but as @big soft moose says, he was partially protected by his training and how hard his skull was; my character isn't Moose - sorry, dude, but you missed the cut for the audition!

    2/ A lot of you seem to be rewriting this story for me...the victim HAS been badly beaten (in the original, he was going to be killed!) and I don't care whether he ends up in hospital, or even whether he lives or is a cabbage - apologies if this seems harsh on him! All I was trying to do was get a handle on what was plausible down this line.
     
  16. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks to everyone who's responded.

    To clear up a few points:

    1/ @GingerCoffee is a nurse practitioner of some years experience, so is likely to have seen several similar cases, and thus be able to give me a "this is what's likely to happen" based upon a statistical base that is more valid than "I got hit once, and this is what happened to me" - apologies if this sounds harsh to anybody who's been hit, but as @big soft moose says, he was partially protected by his training and how hard his skull was; my character isn't Moose - sorry, dude, but you missed the cut for the audition!

    2/ A lot of you seem to be rewriting this story for me...the victim HAS been badly beaten (in the original, he was going to be killed!) and I don't care whether he ends up in hospital, or even whether he lives or is a cabbage - apologies if this seems harsh on him! All I was trying to do was get a handle on what was plausible down this line.
     
  17. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Thats alright bro i'm too handsome to be taken seriously as an MC anyway :D

    That aside while you are waiting for Ms Coffee you may find some useful background stuff here http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/

    One point that springs imediately to mind based on 20 or so years of hitting people and being hit (predomoninantly in a martial arts setting i hasten to add) is that someone who is hit hard on the head may suffer contre coup brain injuries - that is injuries to the side of the brain away from the impact - this is caused by accelration of the brain inside the skull and collision between the skull wall and the brain

    The other thing is that the skull isnt uniformly thick , so a blow to of the temples area or to the base of the skull (back of the neck) is much more dangerous than one to the forehead or the top of the head - holywood often shows people being coshed at the back of the neck with gun butts , coshes, axe handles etc , and it is indeede an effective way to drop someone - so long as you arent bothered that they might not ever get up again. Someone hit hard theitr certainly won't be up and walking arround like not much has happened 20 minutes later.

    Generally as a martial artist i'd avoid hitting anyone in the head as its too dangerous for sparring and on the street i'd prefer not to kill an assailant as getting charged with murder can ruin your whole day, however for your purposes one blow to the side of the head with something hard like a gun butt would put most people down - if you want him to plausibly hit them repeatedly but not kill them he needs to be raining his blows on the top of the head where the skull is thickest

    Also for someone who hasnt been trained the instinctive reaction in a beating situation is to try and cover your head with your hands and arms and roll up into a ball to protect your major organs - therefore it is likely that someone who's been hit repeatedly on the head in these circs will also show defensive injuries like broken fingers and bruised or broken arms.

    HTH
     

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