Published Sep 4, 2015
Have you ever taken care of a patient that survived a gun shot wound to the head:? How did it go?
Jules A, MSN
Yes and in my understanding it largely depends on the location. I have taken care of several with new as well as long term history and they're injuries have varied from severe to barely noticeable.
One. Failed suicide attempt with a shotgun under the chin. He managed to blow off the left side of his face/head, but missed all of the major stuff that would've killed him. It was a long road for his recovery. He survived to discharge but not sure what his quality of life is. I would occasionally spot him back in the hospital - presumably for follow-up appointments.
Pangea Reunited, ASN, RN
I have, but it was an old injury. The gentleman's head was caved in on one side. He was unable to walk, swallow and would go for days without speaking. When he did occasionally say something, it didn't make sense.
He also took many, many medications and had other old gunshot wounds.
TheCommuter, BSN, RN
Yes, I have had patients who survived gunshot wounds to the head.
Survival often depends on the caliber of the bullet and the location of the entry wound. In my experience, people with frontal lobe wounds and small caliber gunshots tend to survive long-term.
I have never seen a patient survive after being shot in the head with an explosively powerful gun such as a .357 magnum or a 380.
Many times. They often have severe TBIs, jaws wired shut, trached/peg, etc etc.
jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B
Survived but never to be the same again. Heartbreaking.
It was a failed suicide attempt, he ended up blind and he can't walk that well.
He was always schizophrenic... But now I can't possibly imagine the hell is in.
Poor guy, he was my favorite patient ever.
I've seen a similar case (as well as other unsuccessful suicide attempts by GSW to the head) years ago; long, difficult, painful recovery (multiple rounds of reconstructive surgery), still at least as depressed as he was when he initially made the suicide attempt, and now small children are going to run away, screaming, when they see him for the rest of his life (and lots of adults aren't going to do much better at covering up their initial reactions). V. sad.
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