1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Wound that takes a while to kill you?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by agentkirb, Sep 13, 2011.

    So in one of my stories there is going to be someone with a gunshot wound. What I was wanting to know is if there's a type of gunshot wound that is definitely deadly if you don't make it to a hospital in time, but also takes a while to actually kill you. Something like 30 minutes before you bleed out or have system failure or w/e.
     
  2. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    Pretty much if you're shot in any extremity you could end up bleeding out if you don't stem the flow of blood, and even then, you'd most likely need stitches/sutures/staples to close the wound. Gut wounds can take a while for you to bleed out as well.
     
  3. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    So like getting shot in the leg, that could potentially kill you in an hour or so if you don't get to the hospital? And there's nothing in the story saying it has to be 30 minutes, it could be like an hour... 2 hours even. But I guess the point is that you can't just wrap a towel around it and walk it off or something to that effect?
     
  4. Mifio
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    Mifio Member

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    Oh, yeah, gunshot wounds are serious. You see people in movies take a hit to the shoulder or the arm or the leg and they shake it off. Screw that, welcome to reality.

    You get shot in the leg a few things may happen. One, a bullet just tore through your muscles, the pain will be immense, even worse if the bullet went through or chipped a bone. Two, there's an artery in your leg called the femoral artery. If it's severed, you can bleed out in less than a minute. If it's nicked you'll have some time, but you'll bleed heavily until you can close the wound or cauterize the artery. Depending on what type of round he was shot with can also help/hinder the character. For instance, buck shot won't penetrate as far unless he was shot from a distance of less than ten feet, and even then, the spray would be a pretty wide pattern. On the other hand, a hollow point round would shatter upon impact and lodge itself in the leg, causing severe pain if moved. A solid slug might just blast all the way through.

    You won't be able to wrap a towel around it and walk it off, no. :p. In fact, he might have a hard time just staying upright without someone helping him, let alone him moving anywhere under his own power unless he crawls there.

    Hope this is helping you. :D
     
  5. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    This is sort of helping.

    Well to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The idea I'm going for is that guy A shoots guy B in the leg (or wherever) with your standard household gun (pistol, w/e is the most common). Guy A leaves in a panic... and so guy B is sitting there with some kind of gunshot wound. And lets assume he does the whole "tear off his shirt and wrap it to slow down the bleeding" thing. He won't be able to move. And so he's basically laying there waiting for help to arrive. It's plausable to think he has an hour, maybe even two depending on the wound and he definitely will die unless help arrives?

    To reiterate, basically two points I'm trying to hit here:
    1. He's not going to just bleed out in 15 minutes.
    2. There is nothing he can do to fully stop the bleeding.

    I'm liking the leg wound or arm wound idea. So if he gets shot and it like imbeds in the muscle... that gives me that type of scenario?
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    A shot to the gut is probably the best idea, though. It's hard to stop the bleeding from that kind of wound, and you can't just walk off.
    A leg wound? You could hop or crawl away. An arm wound? You could walk away.
    A wound in the gut? Any kind of movement will make the bleeding worse. A gut wound also takes a few days to bleed out fully.
     
  7. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Either of them could work. I'm not necessarily worried about being able to walk away because I could write in things that keep the guy there. The whole reason I made this thread was because I didn't want to have an event where someone gets shot and the guy takes a good 30 minutes before they can get help only to have someone who's reviewing the story that knows a lot more about gunshot wounds saying "that type of wound would kill someone in less than 30 minutes" or "that type of wound wouldn't kill someone fast enough, he could've sat there for hours and been fine as long as he put pressure on it to slow down the bleeding".
     
  8. howaboutamagictrick
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    howaboutamagictrick New Member

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    I'll vote for this one.

    Years ago, in a movie or a tv series, I heard someone saying that a shot to the abdomen is one of the most horrible ways to die, because it's painful and it takes long.
     
  9. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Unless you're writing for that audience it really doesn't matter what they think. My advice would be to use a gutshot as there's nothing really vital there and it's very painful as anyone who has been punched in the stomach can attest.
     
  10. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, a shot in the abdomen is your best bet. The pain should render the guy immobile, and there are plenty of organ and blood vessels to bleed from. The abdominal cavity is a closed space. So the more blood that it contains the slower the bleeding as the pressure increases. This won't stop the bleeding by any chance but it will delay death. Your guy has anything from 2 minutes to 24hrs to die. So you have a lot of flexibility to work with.
     
  11. AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt
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    AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt Member

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    I concur; gut-shot is the worst, second only to a facial hit. Not in the skull or the brainpan. Somewhere low, like jaw or cheek. We're talking your teeth are severly rearranged and your chin is next to your ear kind of hit. Again, hard as all get out to stop the beeding, the pain is excruciating, and... well, if you can't stop the bleeding...
     
  12. Hawwyboo
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    I know you'll probably use a gut-shot, but just for the sake of additional choice what about a spinal wound? This would damage the central nervous system and thus have a paralyzing effect on the character, potentially preventing him from moving at all, whereas the main reason why a gut-shot would be disabling is that it is excrutiatingly painful. I don't know how painful a spinal shot would be, I suppose it could potentially be painless depending on how badly the central nervous system is damaged, but in a way I think it would be more distressing than a gut wound because you would be absolutely incapable of saving yourself.
     
  13. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    It doesn't have to be painful, and it doesn't have to render someone immobile. Although it could... I'm just about to get to that part in the story and I haven't decided what I'm going to do. The two main things are that it eventually kills them if not taken to a hospital, but they probably have atleast an hour.

    At first I was thinking leg shot because the guy could limp around. Maybe he can't walk out of the building but perhaps he can move in bursts because it takes a lot of energy for him to take a few steps. And he'd still somewhat have freedom of movement with his arms and torso, so that way if he had a gun in his hand he could somewhat defend himself.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A broken leg can release fat (marrow) into the blood stream that some time later results in a fatal embolism. No warning.
     
  15. AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt
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    AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt Member

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    ^^ How do you know these things? :eek:
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    He maintains a list of punishments for those who misbehave in these forums. ;)
     
  17. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    What a cultural difference between the US and the UK. You talk of a gun as if it's a standard household item like a fridge or a vacuum cleaner. Here you'd first have to buy your gun on the black market. I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to go about buying a gun, but maybe other Brits here are more in the know.
     
  18. AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt
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    Heh. I've three just in my bedroom alone! :D They coordinate well with my curtains! :p
     
  19. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    What I mean by "household" gun was whatever the most common is. In the story I would just say "gun" and not describe what caliber it is or anything like that because... I'm not a gun expert. I wanted to make the distinction that this was just an ordinary gun and not like a shotgun or a rifle or something. Also, it's a crime novel I'm writing... so people are going to have guns. I'd like to think it's not as common, but if you are a murderer it is. Although, funny story I'm taking this night class yesterday and I walk in and there's a group of like 4-5 people including the teacher that are talking about guns like they are cars. Someone said something to the effect of "The next gun I'm going to get is an AR146!" or I don't remember the exact number/letter combination but it was something like that.

    By the way, for reference... I live in Houston, Texas. And we're not all like that but every so often you get reminded that you are living in the south and the stereotypes are true sometimes.
     
  20. CULLEN DORN
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    CULLEN DORN Member

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    Getting shot with a 9mm Glock might take you on a ride to the hospital
    where, more than likely, you might die then, as oppose to getting shot
    with a 45 calibre that would send you through a tunnel of light in no time.
     
  21. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    It's just a huge cultural difference. We do have gun crime in the UK - and it's becoming more common - but the vast majority of gun crimes are within the criminal underworld. Ordinary citizens have no access to guns, and I'm happy for it to stay that way. However, since your story is set in the US I guess a household gun is fine.
     
  22. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I was just thinking... what about knife wounds? Like say someone stabbed you in the leg in a way that didn't hit any major arteries or anything but you are still bleeding. Is that effectively the same as the gunshot to the leg? Like it would kill you if you don't make it to the hospital to get it stitched up, but you would have about an hour to get there... especially if the knife doesn't get pulled out. Right?
     
  23. AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt
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    AtAvi5t_Ev3Nt Member

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    Wait... You're in the Great State of Texas, the state where EVERYBODY has at least two - in their truck - , and your telling me you don't have one? :confused: LOL Just joking with you!

    They were probably speaking of the AR-15, the civilian equivalent of the mil-spec M16 rifle. The shorter, stubby one commonly in use by the US Military is the M4 Carbine. The M4 is also available commercially under the AR-15 moniker. The AR-15 M4 equivalent sports a collapsible butt stock, a shorter barrel, and usually has tactical mounting rails on the fore stock and upper receiver. The rails are for various sights, lights, grips and other scuba-ninja, cool-guy stuff. The aforementioned AR-15 M16 variant is your typical fixed butt stock, longer barrel rifle. Though, the M16A4 variant has the mounting rails on the fore stock and upper receiver too. They fire the NATO .223 caliber (5.56 mm) round. There is also a civilian AR-10 based on the original design of the M16 that chambers the .308 caliber (7.62 mm).

    Having put many, many rounds through both the M16 and the M4, I can attest that these are fine weapons. Highly accurate and very easy to use. By accurate, I mean pinging a target center-mass at 300 meters using iron sights (the sights permanently affixed to the weapon) and easy to use because the recoil is near non-existent.

    BTW, no, I am not a redneck, and yes, I do have a life that doesn't involve CLP, a bore brush and field-stripping a weapon ... Seriously ... (cough, cough)
     
  24. lostinwebspace
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    What's that condition that prevents your blood from clotting? Hemophilia? Maybe your character can be a hemophiliac. I don't know if it would work--it's hard to clot a gunshot wound even if you're not a hemophiliac, but it could help you figure out what to do.
     
  25. NateSean
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    You should see the Wal*Mart where I live.
     

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