March 8th, 2008

survival with chunks of your heart missing (literally)

The story is fantasy, but set about two hundred years in the future and has the appropriate technological advancement, so I suppose it's science fiction, too. They are in a time when doctors have the ability to give patients mechanical hearts when their own fail - my main character's brother has two mechanical components in his heart from a mugging-stab wound when he was younger (I thought that perhaps some of the valves had been mangled, and so they'd been replaced? I don't even really know if this is possible).

The main character and her brother have the ability to time travel at will. I am trying to figure out a way to strand her brother, alive, in one time period without actually removing his power - he needs to be able to feel it there, waiting for him, but be unable to use it.

And then I was watching Terminator. Hello, bunny. So. If I change the concept of time travel so that they can only take themselves (ie, no clothes or other possessions, etc.) - maybe square it somehow in DNA? - and the main character's mechanical components have effectively stranded him, but something (plotty plot plot) necessitated time-travel anyway - and if he does it in a hospital, and there are reasonably attentive doctors who know him, and which power he has, and his medical history with the mechanical bits (his fiancee is a doctor) - is it possible for him to survive? How long would they have to operate? What kind of damage would be done to his body in the mean-time?

I don't need him immediately healthy; there's no action-adventure sequence to follow, just a message he has to deliver.

My search for information was pretty limited. I looked for information on stab wounds to the heart, but it kind of felt like it was in Greek, and it's not even what I'm really looking for - the components suddenly disappearing is not going to create the same problems as the original wound did (at least, I think). Then I looked up what happens if a pacemaker stops working, which taught me that I hadn't actually known what a pacemaker is and that it really is not relevant in this situation.

I'd really appreciate any help. Hell, I don't even know if any of this is possible.

effects of punching a car window

Where: America
When: today

Google search: window+punch+hand+injury

My google search turned up a number of articles in medical journals about so-called "boxer's fracture" and other related injuries. But those were all collected from people who were hurt seriously enough to bother going to the hospital. What I need to know is if it's possible to punch a car window and *not* sustain any serious injury. Obviously, even if that is possible, those incidents will be underrepresented in medical journals, so I'm mostly looking for personal experiences.

More info: my character is a 16 yr old male, sober, who punches a side window of a car with his bare fist. His fist does not penetrate completely -- he basically just cracks the glass, causing it to crackle and eventually (when he slams the door, later) fall out of the frame.

Is it possible/believable that he would bloody his knuckles with this punch, but not need any greater medical attention than cleaning out the wounds and slapping on a couple of bandaids?
Tags:

Handgun penetrating power

When: Present time

Googled keywords: Handgun, penetrating power, stopping power, exit wound, effective range

Situation:
I have a standoff situation in the living room of a standard house. Jill is being held tightly by Jack, who is standing behind Jill with a gun to her temple. Jack's attention is completely on something in front of him. Unfortunately for Jack, this puts his back to an open window. Robin plans to shoot Jack through this window. The problem is that Jack is plastered against Jill. What are the chances that a bullet will go through and kill both Jack and Jill? Robin has a .45 handgun, is a good shot, and stands about 30 ft away.

My google-fu says that most handgun shots produce exit wounds, which would naturally mean hitting Jill, but I don't know if she would get seriously injured. Could Robin aim for the skull and assume that the extra bone would stop the bullet but still kill Jack?

An alternative situation is if Jack is standing close to Jill but not touching her. How far apart would they have to be before the exiting bullet is A) too weak to hurt Jill, or B) has a good chance of missing her? I know that in movies people don't get shot through someone else by accident, but in movies exit wounds aren't common either :)

Apologies if the answer is obvious; I know nothing about guns except what Google spat out in the last hour or so...

Complete or near-complete hearing loss due to head trauma

I am working on a fanfiction in which the main character suffers from complete or near-complete, permanent hearing loss due to head trauma. I need any information people can give me on levels of hearing loss and the treatments thereof. More specifically, I need it to be either completely uncorrectable or nearly so. (I'm under the impression that this is pretty rare. What variables would there need to be for this to happen?) I also need to know how that would happen (I am under the impression from the research I was able to do that one can have permanent hearing loss from head trauma. How would one need to be hit to permanently lose one's hearing in both ears?). I'll also take any information (as detailed as you can give me, some of the characters in the story are doctors) on permanent hearing loss that you have. Really. Anything that might be relevant.

Setting: This is a fanfiction set in the Naruto universe, some time after the current manga chapter. This means that they, theoretically, are about as technologically advanced as we are, with the exception of weapons, and their medics can heal reasonably minor injuries very quickly using chakra (just think of it as magic...). The main character of the fic (Sasuke) is now back in his home village, from which he was absent for... about four years, I think. He's now back to taking missions with his team.

Research: I googled 'hearing loss', 'permanent hearing loss', cochlear implant,' and  'hearing loss head trauma' among other, similar keywords that I can't remember now (sorry). I found out that permanent hearing loss is usually damage to the cochlea, and that a way to partially correct for it is with a CI, though in this case I don't want that to be an option, since the main character can't exactly carry around an obvious hearing device and still do his job.