Mystery Writers Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

MWF is on Twitter. Follow @MystryWrtrs for forum tweets. See who we're following.

collapse collapse
* Search



* User Info
 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online
  • Dot Guests: 20
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: A Question for Medical Experts  (Read 2361 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rjpetyo

  • Cub
  • *
  • Karma: 2
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
A Question for Medical Experts
« on: July 02, 2012, 08:32:04 AM »

The victim's head was submerged in a pot of boiling water. Afterward his face was mangled by a kitchen mixer.

Question. Would autopsies reveal that he died from drowning? Burns? Would the medical experts be able to determine if he was already dead when the mixer was used?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Logged

Dave Freas

  • Ink-Stained Wretch
  • *****
  • Karma: 73
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,478
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 10:40:02 AM »

Hi, Bob

It's possible the shock of having his head plunged into boiling water could trigger a heart attack.  But I think his attacker would have to be hugely stronger than the victim, or he'd have one hell of a time holding his head in the water.  The pain of having his head boiled would flood the victim with adrenaline.  The survival instinct and is very strong and the physiological changes it causes would make him immensely strong until the danger had passed.  One way around this would be to have the attacker drug the victim before giving him the plunge.

If the autopsy reveals water in the victim's lungs, the coroner would rule death by drowning.  If there is no water in his lungs, the finding would be death from some other cause.

I doubt the burns he would receive would be sufficient to cause death on their own.  However, inhaling the boiling water might cause damage to the lungs that could possibly be the cause of death.

But don't take my word as the ultimate.  Check out Dr. D. P. Lyle's website.  You can post your question there and he will answer it.

Hope this helps.

Dave
Logged

mcCarthy88

  • Cub
  • *
  • Karma: 4
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6
  • Medical student based in London. Crime writer.
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 07:32:47 PM »

Hi Bob,

I'm no 'expert', but I am a med student with a decent amount of trauma and pathology knowledge.

The cause of death is likely to be asphyxiation from burns to the airway and larynx. If water is inhaled, or even if it isn't, the tissues of the neck and throat would swell and block the airway, which would kill the victim in about 3-5 minutes.

Also, who is your victim? Is he old or young? Is he fit or is he obese with furred-up arteries from smoking and junk food? If he's an older man or in poor health, Dave is absolutely right to suggest the stress may cause a heart attack. However, I suspect the primary cause of death would still be asphyxiation from airway burns.

I suspect that the autopsy would also reveal a number of fractures or bruises from the victim thrashing around in pain.

Hope that helps,

McCarthy.
Logged

rjpetyo

  • Cub
  • *
  • Karma: 2
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 08:42:45 AM »

Thanks for your input
Logged

rjpetyo

  • Cub
  • *
  • Karma: 2
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 02:15:43 PM »

Well, it took a while, but I sold the story that this question came up in. It's going to appear later this year in Econoclash Review, a new pulpish/noir magazine. Thanks to Dave and McCarthy for the responses.

Bob
Logged

Old Bill

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 37
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 254
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 08:36:27 AM »

Good for you, Bob. To help me and others, can you give us a time line during this nearly 6 year period of your progress. Specifically, from the time your MS was completed to the time it was picked up; how many submissions, etc. Any tips you care to share on the entire process would be appreciated and helpful.

Thanks,
Old Bill
Logged

rjpetyo

  • Cub
  • *
  • Karma: 2
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 11:29:25 AM »

The manuscript wasn't finished until late 2015 (Plot problems, and other projects pushed it to the back burner).

First, it was rejected by Ellery Queen and Hitchcock (I always go to the top markets first, even though, for me, that's pretty much a pipe dream). Hitchcock usually takes a long time responding, so it didn't go out again until May 2017. After five more rejections, it was accepted in December.

Now, it's a long wait until publication.

Bob
Logged

Old Bill

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 37
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 254
Re: A Question for Medical Experts
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 08:42:37 AM »

Thanks, Bob. Patience and persistence pays off.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


* Calendar
May 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 [26]
27 28 29 30 31

No calendar events were found.

Paying the bills...

* Forum Staff
admin Bob Mueller
Administrator
admin MWF Bot
Administrator
gmod MysteryAdmin
Global Moderator
gmod laurihart
Global Moderator

Page created in 0.032 seconds with 25 queries.

SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal