Mer, rhymes with bear (merriehaskell) wrote in little_details,
Mer, rhymes with bear

Living for a few days after brain injury

Setting (Time and Place): late 1920s United States (on a boat in Lake Michigan, as it happens)

Search Engine and key words used: I've read up on brain injury on various medical websites, including the Paralysis Resource Center and so forth... Also poked around in the tag lists here.

Query: Character gets shot in the head, bullet is lodged in brain. She stays alive long enough to ask to be taken home to her estranged family, and to witness a good chunk of that journey. She has to make it to Detroit by boat from just outside Chicago, so she has to stay alive at least a day or two. Is this feasible? If so, what part of the brain is the bullet lodged in, and what ultimately kills her?

My best guesses, but I'd like confirmation and help with the, uh, little details: I'd suspect that the bullet can be lodged in a place that doesn't affect the speech and hearing centers of the brain, and that the character can stay alive (and lucid) long enough to make her wishes known and to survive most of the trip. (She could survive a lot longer depending on where the bullet sits, but you know, plot. And angst.) Can the swelling from the injury take up to two days to kill her, or do I need to do something like give her seizures from the injury, which could eventually get so bad that they drive the bullet further into her brain where it then properly kills her? I want her to die at just the right moment, and a dramatic seizure would be... nice.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds

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