Could you make a chart for the fatality of bullet wounds please?
Sure, nonny! Happy to help! Sorry this took me a while, but
here you go…
[Table: “Area Shot” in one column, “Potential Lethality” in
another. “Area Shot” column lists body parts: head, chest, abdomen, upper arm,
upper leg, forearm, lower leg, hand, foot. “Potential Lethality” lists “potentially
lethal” in all rows.]
You see why I had so many problems answering this ask, anon?
In all seriousness, I wanted to use this to prove a point.
Gunshots anywhere on the body have
the potential to be fatal.
I’ll give you the classic EMS paradox that’s been taught to
me during training. You come up on a scene with a man unconscious on the floor.
In point of fact he’s in cardiac arrest.
Of course, you start CPR and strip him down naked and check for wounds, because that’s
a thing you do in EMS. But the only thing you find is a gunshot wound in the
palm of his hand. Entry, no exit. Small little hole, little bit of a powder
What the hell happened?
What the hell happened is, he was trying to stop himself
from getting shot, reached out, and occluded the muzzle with his hand. The
bullet traveled under the skin, up the outstretched arm, up into the shoulder,
where it lodged in and deflated the lung, and the person died.
This is supposedly based on a real case (note: I’m too lazy
to verify this), which only proves the point that real life is stranger than
But a GSW to the hand doesn’t have to have some magical
properties to be potentially fatal. In addition to the ever-present threat of complications
such as sepsis, there’s also the fact that the
radial artery is right. there. The
wrist isn’t far from the hand, and bullets and bones have strange and almost
miraculous relationships when it comes to trajectory.
The same is true in the foot, only more so, because hard
floor surfaces tend to generate ricochets, and the bullet could simply go
through the foot, ricochet off the floor, and come up and hit, say, the
dorsalis pedis artery, or an artery in the ankle, and cause a life threatening
And just because a bullet to the hand CAN cause laceration
to the radial artery (or even a pneumothorax!) doesn’t mean it will. People can get shot in the chest
and live. People can get shot in the chest and die. Most leg wounds can be
taken care of at home (if it’s a clean through-and-through with minimal
bleeding). Some leg wounds will be fatal inside of 10 minutes (femoral artery)
or will require years of rehab (femur or femoral nerve injury).
This is why I have such a hard time writing about gunhots,
even though they’re HEAVILY requested (though you guys seem to have a thing for
arrows and drownings lately….)
I hope this helped, but I suspect I’ve been supremely
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