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Old 04-21-2006, 11:42 PM
brossa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,171
I'm afraid that if you want your hero back up and fighting in two weeks, s/he will need a lesser injury, like a wound to an extremity.

Essentially all penetrating wounds that are associated with massive blood loss and shock are going to require disturbingly large incisions for exploration and repair. Patients who are really badly off get 'damage control' surgery, in which only the really really bad things are treated (active arterial or major venous bleeding), while 'lesser' injuries like bowel trauma, coagulopathic bleeding, fractures, etc. are 'packed off' with lots of gauze or towels (!). The patient is taken, still under anesthesia, to the ICU where resuscitation with blood, plasma, antibiotics, pressors, and sundry treatments is continued until the victim is healthy enough to go back to the OR to have their injuries reassessed.

The conventional wisdom is that surgical incisions take six weeks to reach about 85-90% of their eventual strength; it can take up to two years for the scar to remodel and reach its final strength. In the presence of contamination or infection, wound closure can be delayed for months. If your hero is up and around two weeks after major surgery, they could easily tear open the wound with strenuous activity.

You can go with a flesh wound that clips a medium-sized artery and results in significant blood loss and shock but does not require thoracic or abdominal surgery for a repair. I would suggest a gunshot that creases the skull and rips up a big flap of scalp. Your hero can have some degree of skull/brain injury (best if kept minor, like a concussion or minor skull fracture) and can bleed like stink from the scalp wound. I've seen otherwise healthy young people bleed to the point of dangerous shock from big scalp lacerations. The good news is that the hero can get resuscitated, stapled back together, and be up and about in two weeks. Of course, you can have the lingering effects of the head injury to play around with...

Are you more attached to the location of the wound or to the short recovery time?