ἔνθεος (tyrannicides) wrote in little_details,
ἔνθεος
tyrannicides
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gunshot wound with odd parameters.

Hello everyone, I have a question about a gunshot wound.

My setting is present day United States, mid-apocalyptic virus outbreak. The character who I want shot is in his mid-twenties, fit and healthy, just out of med school. He has a traveling companion with no medical experience. They've stolen basic medical supplies, so they have access to dressings/bandages, gloves, masks, suture kit, peroxide/iodine, antibiotics and painkillers, etc.

My main problem looking for information is that either I research historical field scenarios and the bullet and wound types are just completely not modern, or I search for modern GSW info and they say "Do this and then get straight to a hospital. And then surgery." I'm in a weird spot because they have sterile equipment and modern medical knowledge, and the wound is made by a modern weapon, but they have no access or ability to perform a surgery/attend a hospital. I've searched a lot of creepy things like "body trauma," "scapular fracture/clavical fracture," "field treatment bullet wound," "treatment gunshot wound," "artery locations," etc, and Wikipedia'd everything I could about gunshot trauma. I've also gone through a lot of pages on this community.

The situation I want is: doctor character is shot, is woozy from blood loss and shock, is still attempting to talk his panicked companion through what to do to fix him.

Some questions:

1.) I'm hesitant to make the wound be in a limb. I'm kind of set on the torso. I've been reading a whole lot and I know shoulder wounds really, really suck, but would this be a better option for a no-hospital/surgery access situation than, say, a collapsed lung? Is it possible to miss the arteries in the shoulder? If so, could someone recover over a period of a few months by being lucky, changing bandaging, and keeping the arm in a sling? I know the scapula's messing up everything--the person shooting this character will be a child, so I was thinking the bullet could hypothetically enter just under the clavicle, then exit behind the shoulder, above the scapula? I'm thinking on having the clavical be nicked, since it doesn't seem plausible that nothing would be broken. The scapula seems so much messier.

2.) I'm not going to get into much detail about the gun, since it doesn't belong to my characters and they themselves don't have much knowledge about firearms, but I had a handgun, perhaps a Glock in mind. Is this feasible?

3.) The character was going to get shot a little ways away from the camp. Could he be mostly carried but still half-hobble a short distance, if his adrenaline was rushing and he was staunching the bleeding? I'm going to have him black out from pain or shock or some other option once he's lying down and has managed to hand over the basics of how to keep him alive, but I do need to get him back to the base.

4.) Would he be able to articulate thoughts and instructions for a little while before he starts
fading out?

5.) What kind of pain medication and antibiotics would be right for this kind of injury? How would they be administered, pill form or injection?

6.) A handgun wound probably wouldn't require debriding, right?

I know a lot of this is really pushing the believable, but it just seems like in history, there was much less technology and medical knowledge and people still survived these kinds of scenarios, somehow. I don't mind if he's knocked on his ass for six weeks or more, and if the arm is weakened for some period of time. I'm just wondering if it's possible for me to write this in a way that doesn't come off as totally ridiculous.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries to order, ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds
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