Does one feel a bullet to the head?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Andrew256, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    First of all a disclaimer: I'm not suicidal nor homicidal, nor planning to harm anyone. I'm asking purely out of curiosity, knowledge, and respect for people who unjustly died from a bullet wounds

    So, I didn't find a more appropriate section on this forum, because as strange as the question sounds, it deals with biology and neurons.

    We see in countless action movies people being killed with a bullet to the head. In most cases, it results in an instant "lights out" (especially if the brain is blown up by the shotgun or magnum shot), but in some movies you can see the victim to stay conscious for a few seconds (especially when small caliber is used). I'm mostly curious what happens in case of a more common caliber, in the range of: 9mm, .38, 5.56, 7.62

    So, imagine a typical scene from the movie - a bullet penetrates the brain directly and exits the other side, painting the wall in blood and pieces of brain matter, victim is instantly dead. Or so it seems. What does he really feel in this instant? Does he feel any pain for a moment? I know it happens very fast, but a brain is also capable of transmitting signals very, very fast. And even though all motor functions may cease, how long a conscious can remain until it fades out from this kind of damage? half a second? a second? longer?

    Are there any scientific knowledge that can help answer those questions? Am I crazy for being curious about this?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The areas that process this kind of information need to get it. How fast do they receive information? Then does anything act on that information? More transmission time? Plus time to act, say "ouch" perhaps?
     
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  5. Michael 345 30th March coming up - Well behaved Friday Valued Senior Member

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    BRAIN SIGNALS

    268 miles/hour

    The speed of these signals depends on how fast the exchange of charged ions is inside and outside of the cell membrane. The main ions involved are sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Without going into details, I can say that messages in the brain can travel at speeds up to 268 miles/hour

    http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1950

    268 miles/hour = 393 foot/sec

    BULLETS

    2,500 feet per second

    Bullets. The average bullet travels at 2,500 feet per second (around 1,700 mph). If you reacted to the sound of the gun going off and required 0.20 seconds (twice that of the fastest Olympic sprinters) to react, then you would need to be at least 500 feet away to successfully dodge a bullet.

    http://www.mythbusterstheexhibition.com/science-content/dodge-a-bullet/

    2,500 feet per second = 1704 miles/hour

    Brain signals - 393 foot/sec
    Bullet - 2,500 foot/sec

    Bullet 6.36 times faster

    Draw your own conclusions

    No survivers if my calculations are correct

    Don't know if you would consider the calculations "scientific knowledge"

    I have looked after a patient who shot himself in the head. Surgion saved him and after many years he was semi independent

    Based on my calculations NO

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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  7. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Well then, I won't bother trying to say "ouch". T/Y
     
  8. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the elaborate answer

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    I'm glad that he survived and this is probably not something to ask a patient, but has he ever talked about his experience?
     
  9. Michael 345 30th March coming up - Well behaved Friday Valued Senior Member

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    I said there was more to the story

    He had shot and killed his wife and son before shooting himself

    One of the person's involved with his recovery was a speech therapist

    I think she had the impression he was capable of speech with other parts of the brain takeing over the function. But he never did speak. Couldn't or wouldn't the speech therapist could not diagnosis

    When I came on the ward where he was being looked after he had been receiving bed baths

    I was having none of that. I made him get out of bed and into the shower. His mother was visiting at the time. Not impressed. However with time she understood. I stayed with him while he washed

    When he was showering a nurse assistant was able to make his bed properly

    Someone months later he was discharged to a care village where he lived a semi independent life

    He never did stand trial

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  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    These stories remind me of one of my men, a young man who was going to shoot a scorpion off his toes with a shotgun.

    I sent that boy home, he wasn't safe.
     
  11. Michael 345 30th March coming up - Well behaved Friday Valued Senior Member

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    Yes I see your point

    It might have been a bullet proof scorpion and the bullet bounce off and hurt him

    Or the noise of the gun scare scorpion into stinging the boy

    Well done sending him home, definitely not safe to be around scorpions

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  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    The two guys sitting down range from his foot would agree.
     
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  13. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    The brain itself doesn’t have any pain receptors; that’s why brain surgery can be performed on a fully conscious person. But everything surrounding the brain does contain highly sensitive pain receptors. There’s no doubt that being shot in the head would be excruciatingly painful. But for how long? I don’t know – the answer depends on a lot of factors.

    There are endless accounts of significant brain trauma (bullets and otherwise) from which people have survived. Phineas Gage is one of the classic examples. (Google him if you’re not familiar.) A radical treatment for severe uncontrollable epilepsy is a temporal lobectomy where a large chunk of the temporal lobe is surgically removed.

    I guess it all depends on what parts of the brain are damaged and the extent of the damage. For instance, we can get away with losing portions of the cerebral cortex associated with higher cognitive function. We usually can’t get away with losing the pons or medulla regions as these control basic involuntary motor functions like respiration. Also, there are also large arteries in the brain that, if ruptured, will kill from blood loss.
     
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  14. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    If it did not kill you or render you unconscious, you would surely feel it. I am not sure otherwise.

    Even if the brain has no pain receptors, you would feel the bullet hitting your head.

    If you were killed or rendered unconscious, I am not sure if you would have a momentary pain sensation first.
     
  15. birch Valued Senior Member

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    what a silly question. if a migraine hurts..
     
  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    I used to swing a pair of Browning .50 cal. heavy machine guns. The bullets are about 1 ounce of lead and leave the barrel at supersonic speed.* The bullet still have enough velocity at four miles to kill a man. That's a bullet to the head, a migraine is a physical problem of organic character.
     
  17. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    From Rockefeller Post 10
    Conscious without a local anesthetic?

    I would expect pain when cutting the skin to reach the skull. I am guessing that the skull has no pain receptors, but am not sure.

    BTW: While I do not doubt your assertion about the brain having no pain receptors, it seems reasonable to expect a citation for such a remark.
     
  18. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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  19. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    My guess is that there would be confusion in the brain, something like a dream, as the brain attempted to resume its "train of thought", until all brain activity ceased.
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Ask Wilder "Doctor, I smell burnt toast!" Penfield.
     
  21. Andrew256 Registered Member

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    A good guess. Multiple studies suggest that consciousness is not focused in a specific part of a brain, and if you spontaneously loose a part of your brain, the consciousness is probably not going to shut down instantly, but fade out similar to analog signal. Yes, it's very fast, but I'm curious as to what one feels in this instant. This is not about gun wounds, but any severe brain damage in general...
     
  22. Michael 345 30th March coming up - Well behaved Friday Valued Senior Member

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    268 miles/hour my post #3

    Brain itself does not feel pain

    Any pain experienced would be from other parts of the body which have been damaged

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  23. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Side note: The NKVD used to bill the families of someone who was shot in the head for the cost of the bullet. Myth or not?
     

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