Ashley (tiscwslabmuz) wrote in little_details,

Rehabilitation after gunshot wound

What I've searched: I've read the Wikipedia articles on gunshot wounds, pneumothorax, and hemopneumothorax, plus a few others that seemed related, and I've Googled combinations of "rehab after gunshot wound," "lung gunshot wound," "gunshot wound lung hospital stay," etc. I'm finding out a lot about interesting gunshot cases, and about how to immediately treat a gunshot wound, but not what I want to know. I don't have a current university affiliation, so I can't go poking around Wiley Interscience for fun academic articles.

Setting: Present day United States, Chicago.

Setup: Male cop, late twenties, is shot in the chest by a handgun. The bullet strikes him a few inches away from his heart, nicks a rib and goes into his lung, fragmenting on the way. He starts to go into shock. His partner manages to get him to the hospital in short order, where he's put in surgery, given a tube thoracostomy, and the bullet fragments are removed.* He's put on a respirator for a little while, but taken off it shortly after surgery.

*(From what I've read, sometimes the surgeons can opt to not remove bullets, but having bullet fragments in the lung didn't seem like a good idea. Correct me if this is inaccurate.)

My question: If everything goes well, according to my research, he can be out of the hospital in a week. However, I didn't find a lot of information beyond that, besides that it will take a while for him to make a full recovery. What's the procedure for that recovery? Will he need to go to the hospital for physical therapy? Will he just need to stay pretty much immobilized for a while, and if so, how long? If everything goes smoothly, about how long before he's allowed to go back to work full-time? I realize that every case is different, but still, there has to be some kind of general time frame on this sort of thing.

Secondary related question: When his doctor gives him his outpatient interview before releasing him, if he did ask, how long would it be before he should be able to resume abbreviated sexual activity, and how long before he'd be able to resume regular sexual activity? If this is a judgement call question based on the level of pain involved, what's a good time frame? As I've never had a rib injury or gunshot wound, I'm not sure how much pain he'd be in during sex, depending on the position he was in.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds, ~sex

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