Does one feel a bullet to the head?

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

  1. Andrew256 Registered Member

    I'm Russian and I think this is a myth. Not 100% sure, but considering how much anti-russian propaganda shit is circulating around globe, I'm willing to bet this was made up.
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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    If you find something in English on this I'd be happy to read it. T/Y
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  5. Jake Arave Icthyologist/Ethologist Registered Senior Member

    A few things, the poster who remarked about the speed of the bullet relative to the speed of neuron signals:
    • This is based on the assumption of immediate brain death
    • Where in the brain specifically does the shot strike?
    I can tell you that a shot to the brain is rarely immediately lethal — the victim is usually conscious for a brief moment before shock sets in. [2] Just long enough to feel excruciating pain. Assuming immediate brain death, which again, is quite unheard of. The victim would need to become unconscious or dead within several hundredths of a second to avoid feeling pain. It’s possible as well that the nervous tissue is simply destroyed by the bullet itself before conscious pain signals are able to be felt.
    If you wanted the most common sense answer, and the one that is technically correct, barring most unlikely scenarios, a gunshot wound to the head is extremely painful and carries a high mortality rate. [2]
    That being said however, headshot wounds, and other wounds that penetrate the skull are more survivable than you might think. About 10% of people suffering close range headshots do survive. And any one of them is liable to tell you how painful it truly is. [1] A specific case study which much physicians and scientists refer to when studying head-trauma is the case of Phineas Cage. He famously survived an injury in which his head had become entirely impaled upon a railroad spike.


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    Now Mr. Cage makes an awesome testimony to the survivability of particular brain injuries — seeing as his injury was what physicians refer to as a “perfect injury.” Meaning he was injured in such a way that he had survived, though a small deviation in the localization of the rail spike would have meant certain death. The same basic principle applies to gun shot wounds, and it’s why we have a realistic prediction model to estimate the mortality rates for such accidents.

    1. eMedicine, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - Definition, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, 2009, and Penetrating Head Trauma, 2009. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Cranial Gunshot Wounds

    2. Journal of Neurosurgery
    May 2014 / Vol. 120 / No. 5 / Pages 1138-1146
    Predictors of outcome in civilian gunshot wounds to the headClinical article; Bizhan Aarabi, M.D., F.R.C.S.C.1,

    Demonstration of injuries suffered by Mr. Cage including the tragectory and relative placement of the rail spike.
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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