1. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Shot through the Lung

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by lostinwebspace, Jul 16, 2011.

    Hello anyone,

    I'm trying to figure out how long someone would live after having been shot through the lung and what pain, asphixiation, whatever he would experience. Could he talk, would it be a throaty whisper, etc. The character has to die for my plot to work, but I need the details.

    He is about 23, of excellent cardio and muscular health. He doesn't smoke or drink. He had been making a run for escape, so he's experienced fright and some tiredness (though he has good endurance). The story takes place in the future, so there's no smog. He's shot indoors. He needs to be able to talk at least somewhat normally for about three or four minutes, so if the lung doesn't work, let me know and I'll pick another part of the body. The gut is a secondary choice, so let me know if that's better for my needs.

    Thanks, all!
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lung injury like that is very serious. Blood would flood that lung, making it difficult to breath or even choking the person. There is the threat of the lung collapsing. He would need medical attention right away.

    A person like that would be in lots of pain. He would also be taking short, rapid breaths because he basically has one lung doing double duty to try to compensate for the compromised lung. He would be coughing because his body is trying to clear the injured lung of blood and anything else that is inside.
     
  3. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Okay, in that case, it's looking incredibly unlikely that I can use that. How about a gut shot? I'm not too worried about the pain (in fact, I would need quite a bit of it), but I do need him to talk. Or can someone suggest another body part? The conditions are this:

    1. It needs to be a serious shot with some serious blood loss. It doesn't have to be fatal, at least if he gets medical attention. He will die, but the shot doesn't do him in. He's finished off almost immediately afterward. Still, I want to make it clear that, before that final blow, he's not making it out alive. He won't be getting medical attention, so eventual blood loss could be an option. Basically, he needs a serious enough wound that everyone and he knows he's going to die even though it's not in the next few seconds.

    2. He won't be able to walk, be it from weakness, pain, or the shot itself.

    3. He does need to be able to talk and breathe. He's obviously not at 100%, but he needs to say a few sentences to get off a warning and whatnot.

    4. Concentration needs to be impeded, but he needs to be able to string a sentence together.

    5. He needs to feel a lot of pain, given that he can meet the conditions above.

    I also need an injury that's not so bad, but this character needs to feel pain, faint, and start sweating. He won't regain consciousness until he sees a doctor hours later, but he'll be fine in the long run. Same deal: gun shot.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    A gunshot wound to the chest would work pretty well for your scenario. A low caliber bullet might pierce the lung and a few blood vessels. This would cause air and blood to fill the pleural cavity( normally a negative space between lung and chest wall). The end result would be limitation in lung function but it could still function. So the victim could have an increased rate of respiration, mild coughing and severe pain.

    Your character could go on like this for an hour. It all depends on the path of the bullet. But you want him dead in a few minutes. Like eclipse said his lung could collapse at any moment, which would result in imminent death without medical intervention.

    For the character that doesn't die, a shot in the abdomen could be workable. Hits a blood vessel, blood collects in an enclosed space, loss of consciousness from hypovolemic shock. He will need surgery to catch the bleeder though. If you lose consciousness from a gunshot it means a low blood pressure(usually from low blood volume). So the BP isn't high enough to sustain consciousness which means it's not high enough to sustain the brain and life. We're talking minutes here. A guy who loses consciousness from blood loss is pretty much circling the drain. He needs medical intervention asap.

    Your best option is a shot to the head at an angle. So the resultant concussion/contusion is a reasonable explanation for the loss of consciousness and the subsequent full recovery hours later.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What about a shot to the leg. The bone could be shattered, or not, but he or she would be unable to walk. If the femoral artery were hit, there would be severe lood loss, and if untreated, it would be fatal. There is also th threat of infection, characterized by footing red streaks, swelling and swelling near the wound site, and a high fever.
     
  6. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    Just a thought, when your lung is punctured and blood is getting into your lungs your going to be coughing up blood and basically drowning.
     
  7. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    you don't really start coughing up blood until near the end of the process...look into hemo/pneumothroax...and tension pneumothorax...a healthy individual can compensate for a good while...
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    tension pneumothorax is from bleeding into the space around the lung and comprseeing it. The lung itself is not necessarily punctured in this case.
     
  9. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually a tension pneumothorax has very little to do with bleeding, that's why it's called a pneumothorax, not hemothorax. It's air, and it's what happens when the lung completely collapses. A tension pneumothorax is how your character will suddenly die, regardless of whether the lung was punctured or not.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I stand corrected. Thank you.

    The condition I described is indeed a hemothorax, not a pneumothorax. Both require the release of the pressure to allow the lung to inflate.
     
  11. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    google for "sucking chest wound". it's survivable but probably not without assistance.
     
  12. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    also, a tension pneumo will often result from a perforated main-stem bronchus...you will see tracheal deviation late in the process...but will have hyper-resonance on auscultation over affected area
     
  13. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right you are, though it's hyper-resonance on percussion. Decreased breath sounds on auscultation.
     
  14. jesus_calderon
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    jesus_calderon New Member

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    Liver.

    Ever seen the movie The Jackal?
    A liver shot would cause terrible pain, severe bleeding and death in about 10 minutes. Basically fits your description.
     
  15. Gryphonboy
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    Gryphonboy Member

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    nerds... ;)
     
  16. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I've written the scene, but I need to weed through these to get the details properly and make whatever changes I need. But thanks for everyone's help!
     

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