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Old 2nd April 2017, 03:37 PM   #1
mgidm86
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Bullet And Other Wounds In The Movies

In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible. "Grab that blowtorch and that lawnmower blade and dig this thing outta me!" Is this the correct thing to do (sometimes, all the time, never)?

Is it possible that the bullet is keeping the blood from flowing as much, and/or that digging it out may actually make it a lot worse?

In the movies, a "through and through" wound is usually considered better than the bullet not exiting the body. Is this true? I know some guns can leave gaping exit wounds, and well, it's just another hole to fix.

Is the lead or gunpowder residue from the bullet an issue at all? Should I grab an Exacto knife and long-nosed pliers if I take a bullet?

I added the "And Other Wounds" to the title in case my questions are answered quickly. Feel free to bring up any Hollywood wound stuff

ETA:
Another one related to guns - I think people walk away from a good hard pistol-whipping a little too easily. Wouldn't that easily crack someones face or skull?

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Old 2nd April 2017, 03:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible. "Grab that blowtorch and that lawnmower blade and dig this thing outta me!" Is this the correct thing to do (sometimes, all the time, never)?

Is it possible that the bullet is keeping the blood from flowing as much, and/or that digging it out may actually make it a lot worse?

In the movies, a "through and through" wound is usually considered better than the bullet not exiting the body. Is this true? I know some guns can leave gaping exit wounds, and well, it's just another hole to fix.

Is the lead or gunpowder residue from the bullet an issue at all? Should I grab an Exacto knife and long-nosed pliers if I take a bullet?

I added the "And Other Wounds" to the title in case my questions are answered quickly. Feel free to bring up any Hollywood wound stuff

ETA:
Another one related to guns - I think people walk away from a good hard pistol-whipping a little too easily. Wouldn't that easily crack someones face or skull?

One of the plot points in "El Dorado" is that the bullet in The Duke's character's (Cole Thornton) back is too difficult for the town old country doctor to 'go fish'n around' to get out. Again, though the bullet remaining there is critical to the plot as it causes problems for Cole.

Bullet, knife, hunk of wood whatever, better to leave it in place if you can (while seeking professional help) as pulling or digging it out can cause more damage and it might just be holding something critical together for now.

Heck, it's easy to walk away from a pistol-whipping when all they use are rubber guns.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Dorado_(1966_film)
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:04 PM   #3
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The grease on old time bullets was fersure a problem. Later, not so much- My uncle got a bullet in the chest in WWII, they left it there. He also "continued to return fire with his personal weapon while guiding his machine gun squad". Navy Cross as well as his first Purple Heart.

So far as lead goes, the body encapsulates forign matter with calcium, sealing in the lead.

And somebody else I know has shote gun pellets in his leg, they show up at airport xray.

So, today, leave it in.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:05 PM   #4
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A bigger problem than the bullet (usually pretty clean) is the bits of clothing (less clean) that contaminate the wound, and bits of dead flesh and bone. Cleaning a wound involves removing all the non viable tissue and rubbish not just the bullet. Foreign bodies like bullets can be a focus of infection so if possible to remove without danger then it will be removed. Obviously you stop bleeding.

See here for an easy introduction to war surgery.
https://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/file...c_002_0570.pdf
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:20 PM   #5
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible. "Grab that blowtorch and that lawnmower blade and dig this thing outta me!" Is this the correct thing to do (sometimes, all the time, never)?

Is it possible that the bullet is keeping the blood from flowing as much, and/or that digging it out may actually make it a lot worse?

In the movies, a "through and through" wound is usually considered better than the bullet not exiting the body. Is this true? I know some guns can leave gaping exit wounds, and well, it's just another hole to fix.

Is the lead or gunpowder residue from the bullet an issue at all? Should I grab an Exacto knife and long-nosed pliers if I take a bullet?

I added the "And Other Wounds" to the title in case my questions are answered quickly. Feel free to bring up any Hollywood wound stuff

ETA:
Another one related to guns - I think people walk away from a good hard pistol-whipping a little too easily. Wouldn't that easily crack someones face or skull?
First call 911 if you live in the states. You'll likely do more harm taking the bullet out. If the person or you is shot an bleeding out apply pressure to the wound until help arrives and listen to the instructions of the 911 operator.

As for through and through, it's complicated.
https://www.quora.com/Why-is-a-strai...staying-inside
As for a bullet stopping just right to stem the flow of blood it's possible, but not likely.


Side note. The movie version of what happens when someone gets shot is blood starts flowing out immediately, lots of blood. That doesn't actually happen unless a big artery or vein is severed. It's portrayed as if people are walking bags of blood. It's visually dramatic to have that shown just like it's visually dramatic all cars exploded when in a movie accident. What is done in the movies is almost always never portrayed realistically.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:48 PM   #7
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On a related note, it always bothers me when I see characters slice their palms open on TV when they need blood for some reason. I know it makes for a nice special effect, but cutting your hand open? It is a sensitive area that is going to be moved and touched often after the cut. And then the wound is usually healed within a scene or two.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible. "Grab that blowtorch and that lawnmower blade and dig this thing outta me!" Is this the correct thing to do (sometimes, all the time, never)?

Is it possible that the bullet is keeping the blood from flowing as much, and/or that digging it out may actually make it a lot worse?

In the movies, a "through and through" wound is usually considered better than the bullet not exiting the body. Is this true? I know some guns can leave gaping exit wounds, and well, it's just another hole to fix.

Is the lead or gunpowder residue from the bullet an issue at all? Should I grab an Exacto knife and long-nosed pliers if I take a bullet?

I added the "And Other Wounds" to the title in case my questions are answered quickly. Feel free to bring up any Hollywood wound stuff

ETA:
Another one related to guns - I think people walk away from a good hard pistol-whipping a little too easily. Wouldn't that easily crack someones face or skull?
It's a bit of a mixed bag. Removing the bullet is, in general, a fairly urgent consideration, risk of infection and all that. However, that must be tempered with consideration of the wound location and what it's removal may cause by way of collateral damage. President Garfield is an interesting case in point. You could read up on that. So is a journalist friend of mine.. He was shot in the temple near the eye with an air rifle many years ago. The pellet ended up near the optic nerve. Operating to remove it would mean loss of sight in one eye so the decision was made to leave it in situ, and there it remains. However, it is moving over the years and it will ultimately sever that nerve resulting in permanent sight loss. What will he do then? Well, he has such an oddball sense of humour that I fully expect an eyepatch and a pirate persona to emerge. This is a man who took up smoking a pipe for the sole reason of annoying other people.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
On a related note, it always bothers me when I see characters slice their palms open on TV when they need blood for some reason. I know it makes for a nice special effect, but cutting your hand open? It is a sensitive area that is going to be moved and touched often after the cut. And then the wound is usually healed within a scene or two.
Yup and often done as some kind of warrior rite. Oops now I cut a muscle or tendon and can't make a fist or hold my weapon!
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Old 2nd April 2017, 04:54 PM   #10
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Going a bit more afield, another TV/movie trope that bothers me is knocking someone out by striking them on the head. It seems to put them to sleep instantly after which they awake normally with no memory loss or other signs of concussion. In real life they would as likely die as wake up.

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Old 2nd April 2017, 06:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
It's a bit of a mixed bag. Removing the bullet is, in general, a fairly urgent consideration, risk of infection and all that. However, that must be tempered with consideration of the wound location and what it's removal may cause by way of collateral damage. President Garfield is an interesting case in point. You could read up on that. So is a journalist friend of mine.. He was shot in the temple near the eye with an air rifle many years ago. The pellet ended up near the optic nerve. Operating to remove it would mean loss of sight in one eye so the decision was made to leave it in situ, and there it remains. However, it is moving over the years and it will ultimately sever that nerve resulting in permanent sight loss. What will he do then? Well, he has such an oddball sense of humour that I fully expect an eyepatch and a pirate persona to emerge. This is a man who took up smoking a pipe for the sole reason of annoying other people.
Good news on the severed nerve front. Looks like carbon fiber "nano-ribbons" might be just the ingredient we've been missing. Apparently they work pretty well on rat spines at least - the idea is to let them form a kind of scaffold for the nerves to regrow and reconnect on. Importantly, the fibers conduct electricity, which seems to be essential for nerves to find each other and marry up.

Here's a snippet about it (yeah I know it talks about head transplants too): http://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/head-...isky-1.3897759
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Old 2nd April 2017, 06:17 PM   #12
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ditty

The ditty I was taught in combat training was start the breathing, stop the bleeding, protect the wound, treat for shock.

Depending on the type of damage you have to do the basics first. You can dig for bullets, but if your man on the ground ain't breathing, and the blood is coming out really fast, where the bullet is located is completely irrelevant. Breathing first, blood loss second, then protect the wound and treat for shock cause the dude is probably going to be shaking real bad from adrenaline.

Concerning pistol whipping, that **** hurts and depending on where they hit you will give you a good concussion or even break your skull. The buttstock of a rifle to the face will put you on the ground for a dirt nap too.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 06:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Good news on the severed nerve front. Looks like carbon fiber "nano-ribbons" might be just the ingredient we've been missing. Apparently they work pretty well on rat spines at least - the idea is to let them form a kind of scaffold for the nerves to regrow and reconnect on. Importantly, the fibers conduct electricity, which seems to be essential for nerves to find each other and marry up.

Here's a snippet about it (yeah I know it talks about head transplants too): http://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/head-...isky-1.3897759
Probably, we will get to that point. we aren't quite there yet, but close. The notion that one paralysed might have motion restored seems in the realm of sci-fi, but it isn't.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 06:59 PM   #14
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Awesome! A person can learn a lot during a nap!

So what I suspected was true I guess.

---

Yeah, I don't like the trope where every bullet strike shoots a blob of blood across the room. Hollywood loves their FX though.

I want someone to film me walking way from a huge explosion in slow motion.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 08:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Going a bit more afield, another TV/movie trope that bothers me is knocking someone out by striking them on the head. It seems to put them to sleep instantly after which they awake normally with no memory loss or other signs of concussion. In real life they would as likely die as wake up.

Like Mannix? He was knocked-out something like 55 times in his TV career. He always rubbed the back of his head and kept going.

I was knocked-out twice in my 60 years, and it hurts! Once was a bicycle accident, and once was during a game of US football with no protective gear. No more of that for me!
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Old 2nd April 2017, 08:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Like Mannix? He was knocked-out something like 55 times in his TV career. He always rubbed the back of his head and kept going.

I was knocked-out twice in my 60 years, and it hurts! Once was a bicycle accident, and once was during a game of US football with no protective gear. No more of that for me!
Yes there is something about that which creates the inspiration to invent totally new swear words.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 09:28 PM   #17
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I think maybe "not" getting knocked out hurts more, or it may just be my perception of it. The hatch on my car came down on my head this afternoon. At the time I realized it's the hardest I've been hit in quite some decades. I was surprised a few minutes later to find a small gash and more blood than one would expect coming from it.

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Old 2nd April 2017, 09:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
Going a bit more afield, another TV/movie trope that bothers me is knocking someone out by striking them on the head. It seems to put them to sleep instantly after which they awake normally with no memory loss or other signs of concussion. In real life they would as likely die as wake up.
It may be unlikely, but I was knocked out by a falling cassette recorder (yes, it was a long time ago) hitting me on the back of the head near the base of the skull. It probably weighed four pounds and fell 2 1/2 feet or so (I was under a desk plugging in a lamp). I woke up a few hours later feeling fine. There was no visible bruising or swelling at the impact site.

On the other hand, I've fallen four feet directly onto my head on linoleum/cork/concrete, and was not even dazed. I had a very stiff neck for a week or so, but only mild soreness on the top of the head. That's at least 50 times the force of the falling tape recorder. This leads me to suspect that a blow to the top of the head (like the classic beer bottle to the skull in TV/movies) is definitely not going to knock someone out.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 10:46 PM   #19
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Since "and other wounds" was specified from the beginning, I'll feel free to talk about swords. Because of course I will.

The common Hollywood trope is that a sword (or a knife) wound instantly kills. You hit someone with a sword, and they fall over, dead as a doornail that you just hit with a sword. And to be fair, sometimes that can happen. People can die from simple trauma, or they can instantly lose consciousness through a sudden loss of blood pressure and die slowly on the ground as they bleed out.

But there are tons of contemporary references to people walking away from sword wounds, and we have tons of skeletons of people who clearly suffered from wounds that were completely healed before they died. More common seemed to be walking away from a sword wound and then dying of rampant untreated infection some days or weeks later.

I don't know if it's enough to say that a majority of sword wounds were non-fatal, but it's certainly enough to debunk the one hit one kill idea of Hollywood.

I will add a post scriptum here about Japanese swords. Ideally, the Japanese sword is used with a technique which is specifically and deliberately practiced in order to kill with one strike. It's as much to do with training as it is to do with the design of the sword itself.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 05:29 AM   #20
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As well... Heroes slashing away at fully armored foes with their swords... Who instantly fall dead....

Elmer Kieth, the old editor of Guns magazine, was around when some of the old "Wild West" types were still living. He said he knew several old guys who had bullets in them from old gunfights...
One guy said he could feel 'em when the weather was cold.

Here's another... The knife thrower. Junior throws a knife at his opponent... The thing sinks hilt-deep into the poor sod's abdomen, and he instantly falls down dead.
Rather unlikely...Especially since the knife still being in the wound is largely preventing any severe bleeding.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 06:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Since "and other wounds" was specified from the beginning, I'll feel free to talk about swords. Because of course I will.

The common Hollywood trope is that a sword (or a knife) wound instantly kills. You hit someone with a sword, and they fall over, dead as a doornail that you just hit with a sword. And to be fair, sometimes that can happen. People can die from simple trauma, or they can instantly lose consciousness through a sudden loss of blood pressure and die slowly on the ground as they bleed out.

But there are tons of contemporary references to people walking away from sword wounds, and we have tons of skeletons of people who clearly suffered from wounds that were completely healed before they died. More common seemed to be walking away from a sword wound and then dying of rampant untreated infection some days or weeks later.

I don't know if it's enough to say that a majority of sword wounds were non-fatal, but it's certainly enough to debunk the one hit one kill idea of Hollywood.

I will add a post scriptum here about Japanese swords. Ideally, the Japanese sword is used with a technique which is specifically and deliberately practiced in order to kill with one strike. It's as much to do with training as it is to do with the design of the sword itself.
Pretty much agree on everything there. The phrase Hors de Combat springs to mind. The aim was not necessarily death, but elimination from the field.

And your exception for Japanese swords is well noted. Death at a stroke actually was the goal there.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 12:50 PM   #22
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So, I guess the new Ghost Recon game has a Yeti/sasquatch easter egg imbedded in it.

They have Yeti-hunting gear and clues to the Yeti.

On youtube, all of these gamers are trying to find the yeti, to no avail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DjePqqFb64

You can searh Yeti Ghost Recon on Youtube to find other videos.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 01:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I will add a post scriptum here about Japanese swords. Ideally, the Japanese sword is used with a technique which is specifically and deliberately practiced in order to kill with one strike. It's as much to do with training as it is to do with the design of the sword itself.

Far more to do with the technique than the design, since there isn't anything particularly special about the design of the katana or its longer and shorter variants. It evolved from the typical cavalry design, long shallow curve intended to be used in a powerful downward-slashing stroke. Nearly every culture that used mounted combat developed the same basic shape.

But for some reason TV and Movies imbue the design with some sort of special, magical killing property. Worse is when the character wielding it uses it primarily to hack and jab an opponent like an oversized estoc (thrusting was certainly done, but was not the preferred technique as it did not utilize the strengths of the design). But it kills with one blow because it's a katana, and therefore inherently superior. (There was a thrusting sword, the chokuto, but they were considerably less popular and less common, and used by foot troops and ninja rather than samurai, eventually being replaced entirely by later designs).

If the Japanese sword was superior to common western swords, it was in the steel composition, and complex, differential temper technique; which contributed more to the edge-holding and durability of the blade, rather than any superior killing power. (IIRC, only the original Wootz steel blades were comparable, until sources of that particular high-silicon ore ran out). But that's not as flashy or dramatic, of course.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 09:36 PM   #24
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The design of the sword is significant - just not as much as a lot of people seem to think. The katana was developed over time to complement the techniques being developed to use it. Together they became quite a deadly combination, neither of which would be as effective at killing without the other.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 10:05 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
It's a bit of a mixed bag. Removing the bullet is, in general, a fairly urgent consideration, risk of infection and all that. However, that must be tempered with consideration of the wound location and what it's removal may cause by way of collateral damage. President Garfield is an interesting case in point. You could read up on that. So is a journalist friend of mine.. He was shot in the temple near the eye with an air rifle many years ago. The pellet ended up near the optic nerve. Operating to remove it would mean loss of sight in one eye so the decision was made to leave it in situ, and there it remains. However, it is moving over the years and it will ultimately sever that nerve resulting in permanent sight loss. What will he do then? Well, he has such an oddball sense of humour that I fully expect an eyepatch and a pirate persona to emerge. This is a man who took up smoking a pipe for the sole reason of annoying other people.
Well done, In my first post after basic I took up pipe smoking for that very reason!!!!!
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Old 4th April 2017, 12:19 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Like Mannix? He was knocked-out something like 55 times in his TV career. He always rubbed the back of his head and kept going.

I was knocked-out twice in my 60 years, and it hurts! Once was a bicycle accident, and once was during a game of US football with no protective gear. No more of that for me!
All that recurrent head injury! Presumably he retired with early onset dementia.
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Old 4th April 2017, 05:49 AM   #27
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Those early-TV "Private Eyes" absorbed a lot of damage. I recall the old "Peter Gunn" managed to get shot in the same shoulder about every other episode...
Dabbing at the wound with his handkerchief, of course....
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Old 4th April 2017, 06:52 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible. "Grab that blowtorch and that lawnmower blade and dig this thing outta me!" Is this the correct thing to do (sometimes, all the time, never)?

Is it possible that the bullet is keeping the blood from flowing as much, and/or that digging it out may actually make it a lot worse?

In the movies, a "through and through" wound is usually considered better than the bullet not exiting the body. Is this true? I know some guns can leave gaping exit wounds, and well, it's just another hole to fix.

Is the lead or gunpowder residue from the bullet an issue at all? Should I grab an Exacto knife and long-nosed pliers if I take a bullet?

I added the "And Other Wounds" to the title in case my questions are answered quickly. Feel free to bring up any Hollywood wound stuff

ETA:
Another one related to guns - I think people walk away from a good hard pistol-whipping a little too easily. Wouldn't that easily crack someones face or skull?
Correct. If you're not trained up in the subject matter you're going to make a bad thing worse.The best thing you can do for a GSW victim is to immobilize the victim as much as possible and staunch the flow of blood.

Depending on the part of the body and underlying organs, a through and through wound is just as bad if not worse than a wound where the projectile doesn't exit the body. The concern in that case is that the projectile will continue to cause tissue and/or organ damage until the victim can receive proper medical treatment.

Hollywood depiction of GSW's are for entertainment value, not accuracy. There is better technology available today than in the past wrt expanding bullets, but the old myth that a .45 ball round goes in at .45 caliber and comes out the size of a softball (I've heard it with my own ears) is flat-out nonsense. WWI-WWII service rifle calibers can cause extensive tissue and skeletal damage and generally deform rather than expand. Even then the popular fiction version of GSW's is far less dramatic than is depicted. A soft point .30 caliber and above rifle caliber projectile can cause significantly larger exit wounds.

WRT Hollywood depictions of violence in general, it is for dramatic effect, not as a realistic depiction of trauma. The stereotype of the bad guy getting blown across the room from projectile impact is 100% false. The 10 minute physical fights where the protagonists give and receive multiple hard blows to the head w/o typical soft tissue injury or loss of consciousness is nonsense. The individual (it's just a flesh wound) shot through and through that recovers within a minute is nonsense.

I've told people for years that if Hollywood does get something right about violence, it's probably by accident.

I have one exception to the above. The scene in "Goodfellas" where the Henry Hill character pistol whips the guy that manhandled his future wife - no preamble - quick, brutal and realistic up to a point. It's been my experience that when an individual suffers severe injury to the cheekbones and orbital bones one or both eyeballs can be dislodged from the eye socket.

Link below - good primer on GSW pathology:


http://www.archivesofpathology.org/d...code=coap-site
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:00 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
All that recurrent head injury! Presumably he retired with early onset dementia.
That part was loosely based on a detective of the radio waves many years earlier who got bashed on the head and went down the black well at least once per episode (and those episodes were only about 15 minutes long)!!!!
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
In the movies, when someone is shot, the prime concern is always to get the bullet out as fast as possible.
Unless it's just a flesh wound.

Movie guns pretty much run on magic.
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:07 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
A bigger problem than the bullet (usually pretty clean) is the bits of clothing (less clean) that contaminate the wound, and bits of dead flesh and bone. Cleaning a wound involves removing all the non viable tissue and rubbish not just the bullet. Foreign bodies like bullets can be a focus of infection so if possible to remove without danger then it will be removed. Obviously you stop bleeding.
I read a really good book about Garfield, Destiny of the Republic. Also had some really cool sections about Alexander Graham Bell, and focused on the development of anti-sepsis measures for surgery.

Garfield survived for months after the shooting, and he actually died of related infections. He was shot in a railway station, and the book goes into detail about him laying on the dirty floor as people probed his wound with their fingers to get the bullet out.

My answer to the OP, then (as a non medical expert), is that getting the bullet out may not be as important as avoiding infection. If you have clean hands and clean instruments, may be the thing to do, but if all you have is some dirty farm gear, probably not the best idea.
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:20 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Unless it's just a flesh wound.

<snip>

Aren't they all pretty much flesh wounds?
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:21 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
On a related note, it always bothers me when I see characters slice their palms open on TV when they need blood for some reason. I know it makes for a nice special effect, but cutting your hand open? It is a sensitive area that is going to be moved and touched often after the cut. And then the wound is usually healed within a scene or two.
Didn't work out like that in Kill List...
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:29 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Aren't they all pretty much flesh wounds?
Only those that hit the heroes. The villains usually just die on the spot, no matter how clumsily the shooter aimed at them.
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:41 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Only those that hit the heroes. The villains usually just die on the spot, no matter how clumsily the shooter aimed at them.
Unless you are watching Gunsmoke, in which Matt Dillon shot the gun out of someone's hand in virtually every episode. Actually getting shot in the hand, I suspect, would be a crippling injury.

In a modern western, of course, the bad guy would get shot in the torso and immediately fly backward about 10 feet.
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:49 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Awesome! A person can learn a lot during a nap!

So what I suspected was true I guess.

---

Yeah, I don't like the trope where every bullet strike shoots a blob of blood across the room. Hollywood loves their FX though.

I want someone to film me walking way from a huge explosion in slow motion.
I want a movie in which, at the end, the protagonist walks away from an explosion in slow motion, never looking back, never showing interest ... and then gets hit by a slow, heavy moving object that he could have dodged, had he looked. He saves the day, but dies trying to look totally badass.

See, I like movies that send a message. You know how many kids die each year because they walk slowly away from a huge explosion? I don't know the exact number, but I'm sure it's lots. Way lots.
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Old 4th April 2017, 07:58 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The design of the sword is significant - just not as much as a lot of people seem to think. The katana was developed over time to complement the techniques being developed to use it. Together they became quite a deadly combination, neither of which would be as effective at killing without the other.

Significant, yes, but one could say that about a lot of sword/technique combinations. The point is it's not unique. Too much entertainment media treats it as if it's somehow unique, and thereby imbued with mystical significance. It's just one of many evolutionary variants of a standard cavalry design, adapted for a specific set of circumstances, like the scimitar, sabre, falchion, shashka, kilij, several dao variants (which are the closest to the Japanese katana style).

Many of these variants were wider-bladed, and a lot of them had a good deal more metal added near the tip, shifting the weight forward and adding force to the downstroke. The much narrower Japanese style was not developed from their particular technique, but as a method of conserving and making the most efficient use of scarce and expensive iron resources (broken swords were often reforged into polearms and other weapons); and the technique followed, eventually creating a feedback loop that resulted in further refinements to both. That lack of metal was also the primary reason they never developed the use of full plate armour the way the Europeans did.

The funny thing about the emphasis on the katana is that it was never the primary battle weapon of the samurai. That role was taken up by the yari (spear) and the bow for mounted samurai, and the bow and naginata for unmounted. The sword was a weapon of last resort. It wasn't until the samurai were actually in decline, and their role mostly administrative and ceremonial, that the sword became their defining weapon. It was at that point that the mythology of both the sword, and bushido both developed.
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Old 4th April 2017, 08:04 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
If the Japanese sword was superior to common western swords, it was in the steel composition, and complex, differential temper technique; which contributed more to the edge-holding and durability of the blade, rather than any superior killing power. (IIRC, only the original Wootz steel blades were comparable, until sources of that particular high-silicon ore ran out). But that's not as flashy or dramatic, of course.
Yeah some of us nerds think that katanas are just better, period. But in a battle between a plate-armoured medieval knight and a samurai, I wouldn't put my money on the latter. The katana's just not very good against armour. A naginata, maybe. The knight's word, however dull and cheap, would be quite effective.
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Old 4th April 2017, 08:50 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The design of the sword is significant - just not as much as a lot of people seem to think. The katana was developed over time to complement the techniques being developed to use it. Together they became quite a deadly combination, neither of which would be as effective at killing without the other.
Two words sum up a realistic sword fight: Beatrice Kiddo
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Old 4th April 2017, 09:11 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
On a related note, it always bothers me when I see characters slice their palms open on TV when they need blood for some reason. I know it makes for a nice special effect, but cutting your hand open? It is a sensitive area that is going to be moved and touched often after the cut. And then the wound is usually healed within a scene or two.
In the Buffy finale,
she takes two dozen potential slayers and they all slice their palms and drip blood onto the Hellmouth and it opens, and they enter for the final showdown.

Entering a fight against thousands of super-vampires (which they knew thanks to Buffy's visions). With cut open palms (slayers heal fast, but not that fast) and hand weapons.
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