Bozeia (bozeia) wrote in little_details,

Gunshot Wound To The Neck + Question About Vocal Cord Paralysis Resulting From It

Hello. I had an idea for a story I wanted to try, which admittedly first began with the idea of inflicting a physically traumatic experience and muteness resulting from a trauma/injury. However, I wanted the effect of being mute to be accurate to real life, none of that "highly specific injury" crap. I started researching things like vocal cord paralysis and aphasia and the like.

Taking all that into account, I also had to start considering what would be the most plausible way for this specific character to acquire something like the above traumas. The fiction would take place in a slightly sci-fi type setting, and the situations the characters usually get wrapped up in involve things like smuggling operations, confrontations with military, pirates, mercenaries, et cetera. Basically, a lot of gun play is going on. I figured to myself, if it's possible or even plausible, that it might not be too much outside the realm of possibility that a gunshot wound to the neck could cause vocal cord paralysis if the bullet enters in just the right spot at precisely the right angle.

I've tried to look for articles or stories on the internet that document it actually happening, and I HAVE found a few that establish that it's possible. I found an article that established that a man who had gone to war suffered partial vocal cord paralysis because of a bullet through his neck; only his left vocal cord (or vocal fold?) was paralyzed, the right one was not. I'm aiming for total paralysis of the vocal cords though, and if possible I'd like to know what position in the neck specifically would the bullet have to hit to facilitate it.

I've been researching symptoms of vocal cord paralysis as well, and I intend to portray that specific condition as realistically as possible. In relation that that, would the character in question not be able to exercise/physically exert himself as strenuously as he used to because of shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing? How is what he physically can and can not do limited, if at all? The theme I wanted to go for was more along the lines of "compromised" as opposed to "completely out of commission", so information for or against would be really helpful!

Lastly, I'd also like to know about general information involving gunshot wounds to the neck (where the victim survived, that is). I looked through a lot of gunshot wound-related back entries, and I hadn't been able to really find what I was looking for. If anyone can tell me about gunshot wounds and trauma to the neck, and treatment thereof, that would be great!

Also, for context's sake, the character in question is a healthy adult male. He is in his mid to late thirties, and stands about 6' 4". His body is extremely muscular and conditioned, as he regularly does weight training (pull-ups, bench presses, et cetera) between jobs. He also has access to a doctor who possesses knowledge of a wide range of trauma injuries (so if it's on hand, medical jargon would be helpful too).

Thanks a bunch! Any information on any of the above would be extremely appreciated!
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds, ~medicine: paralysis

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