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Gunshot wound recovery time?
halfling_rogue wrote in little_details
Okay, so we have a very healthy and in-shape Asian male of 18 years (Kaito Kuroba for those familiar with the series) who has been shot in the gut (to one side, not in the stomach). The shot was from a distance, not point-blank.

He stumbled away from the scene, received prompt first aid from a bystander who tried to stop the bleeding (without much luck), and was taken to a hospital for surgery to remove the bullet. No vital organs were directly hit; one may have been nicked (just for the sake of adding more injury, but I'm open for this). He lost a lot of blood between getting shot and getting to the hospital, and received a transfusion during/after surgery. (He's a B type receiving O, if that makes any earthly difference.)

How long does it take him to wake up after the surgery? Ballpark is fine.


EDIT: Asked a nurse at the blood donor clinic and got an answer! She said that it would heavily depend on what anaesthetic was used, but that it would likely take him about 40 minutes to an hour to wake up, as patients after surgery are typically administered a drug to bring them back to consciousness. She said the only reason he might be kept in a coma would be if they suspected a serious brain injury.

She also mentioned that it would depend on whether any internal organs were hit. I didn't question further along that line, but I got the impression that if an intestine had hit and he'd gone septic, the surgery itself would have lasted much longer. I'm not sure if the waking-up period would remain the same or not in that particular case.



ETA 2: If the bullet had managed to make its way really deep into his abdomen before stopping, does anyone know if the doctors would have been more likely to make an incision in his back to get it out? Or would they follow the wound from the front regardless of how deep it went?

You've already got your answer, but A+++++ for writing Magic Kaito fic!

Roleplaying, actually! Here, if you're interested. The 1412 incident referenced took place over at justonetruth.

Ah, gotcha. Still very cool. :)

Thank you for posting, actually this

She said the only reason he might be kept in a coma would be if they suspected a serious brain injury.

helps me with an RP of mine--cool!

BTW contrary to intuition, the stomach is not in the center of the gut, something I've discovered from having digestive troubles. The stomach is on the left side, I assure you.

Thought it might be. He was shot very far to one side; if it had been another inch and a half out, roughly, it would have been a graze, not a shot. Though he's still lucky it didn't hit any intestines.

Anesthetic recovery also depends upon whether the person processes the anesthetic well. My family, for instance, has a terrible time processing through anesthesia, and my father took two days to fully come out of anesthesia after his recent open heart surgery, rather than the half a day that was expected. I also know that some people are really out of it when they're coming up from anesthesia. The filters are off and there can be ranting and obscenities.

My wife had emergency abdominal surgery about ten years ago, when she was in her late 20s, and she was awake but not very functional within an hour, and it took about six hours before she was consistently able to stay awake. Abdominal surgery is particularly painful (if it's not laparoscopic), and they usually put patients on some sort of opioid painkiller (my wife had a "serve yourself" button on her Dilaudid bag). Opioids will make people much drowsier, and may complicate the waking-up process from anesthesia.

If an intestine was nicked, there would be lots of cleaning and closing of the wound, then flushing and treating with antibiotics in the abdominal cavity. There would likely be drains in place so they could keep tabs on whether peritonitis was coming on or not.

And this is so much more info than you asked for. Sorry!

I can +1 most of that. I was only having dental surgery, but it took me at least an hour to be 'awake' enough to be wheeled to my ride home's car, and on getting home I slept for several more hours. Took me the better part of the evening to fully be aware, and that's just for a short surgery. After your character wakes up, you could extend grogginess as long as you want.

Ah, good point! I apparently start throwing up uncontrollably as soon as I come out of it. Or sometimes before, if it isn't very strong. That can wake you up pretty quick.

No no no, that's good and very useful! Thank you!