Thursday, May 28, 2009

Put Down Your Guns Of Steel

I think I've said this before, but when the BatPhone rings, the info we get is sometimes ambiguous; it might be something, or it might be nothing.

Stabbings are a good example of this. The history 'stabbed in the ....' doesn't tell you much, in and of itself. Stabbed in the leg could mean the butcher's cut, hacking through all the important clockwork up near the femoral triangle, or it can be a loon who's poked a knife into their quads, and is quite enjoying all the attention. (I've seen both...)

'Stabbed in the face' feels more visceral, more serious. Maybe because there's not so much soft tissue that's safe to stab; 'slashed across the face' might look more gory, but, somehow doesn't convey quite the same feel to me.

That having said, if you've been stabbed in the face, there are a variety of 'safe' places the blade could go, all of which are going to ruin your day, and your movie star looks, but none of which will ruin everyone else's day.

There are, of course, an equally large number of places that blade can slide which will change your whole outlook on life. Phineas Gage demonstrated that rather admirably, albeit unintentionally. The whole 'science' of lobotomy / leucotomy was based on this.

So, the warning call of 'stabbed in the face' is alive with promise, with danger, with fear and uncertainty; only when they roll in do you know.

When this guy rolled in, the question of how serious it might be looked rather foolish. He was alive (good), conscious (good), with no obvious bleeding (good), but obviously shitfaced (bad) and with about 2 inches of metal poking out of his right cheek (very bad)

I'm guessing you can see the problem... the horizontal line is a monitoring lead, the (roughly) vertical line is all knife.


anji said...


The Hippocratic Oaf said...

Through the eye or around it?

And I'm no expert but, did that make it into the anterior cranial fossa?!

Anonymous said...

Is it not a bit inconvenient to leave a monitoring wire in the X-Ray view?

Or was it a case of "Hmm, that knife could be poking in to squishy brain matter, maybe we'd better get a head film to check.... like, right now. I need a radiographer stat!"

Except without the ER style language, obviously.

tom said...

don't forget to provide a referral to the dentist!