Category Archives: Medicine

Celebratory Gunfire – Where Do the Bullets Land?

From 1985 through 1992, 118 people were treated at King/Drew for such injuries on those holidays and 38 of them died, Dr. Gary J. Ordog and his colleagues reported recently in the Journal of Trauma. A full 75% of the survivors suffered severe long-term disabilities, the doctors reported, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, seizures and chronic pain.
[…] The mortality rate from such random shootings, about 32%, is much higher than the 2% to 6% normally associated with gunshot wounds, Ordog said. That is probably because 77% of the victims were hit in the head, which is especially vulnerable to gunshot wounds, he added.*

“Data show the 77% of reported celebratory firing results in injury to the head, 12% to the shoulder, 5% to the upper back, 2% to the posterior chest and neck, respectively, and 1% to the upper arm, leg, and foot each.”*

Mario Jovanovski (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Columbus, OH
“Mario Jovanovski, 21, and his girlfriend Amanda McGarran met at John Bishop Park Sunday evening right before the fireworks started. ‘The first fireworks went off and he grabbed his head and said babe, I’ve just been shot,’ said McGarran. She said the impact knocked him to his knees.”*

Diego Duran (top of head)
1/1/2012 – Ruskin, FL

Termination (no exit):

“The bullet went into his left front parietal part of the cranium, the direction was diagonal. On it’s way, diagonally, it did fracture, I believe, two of the facial bones, one that’s behind the nose and one behind the eyeball. And, it was trapped behind the [right front cheekbone].”*

“ ‘It’s like I have to be cautious of my head. I have a shunt, it’s a tube that goes all the way down to my stomach and it drains fluids,’ he said as he traced the path through his body.”*

Joe Jaskolka (top of head)
1/1/1999 – Philadelphia, PA
“But police still don’t know the caliber of bullet that struck Jaskolka on the top of his head because the projectile is still lodged near the base of the boy’s brain.”*

Shannon Smith (top of head)
6/16/1999 – Phoenix, AZ
“A single bullet had struck Shannon on the top of her head. Police believe it was fired straight up within a mile of Shannon’s home. Several residents reported hearing gunfire the night Shannon was killed, but no suspects ever emerged.”*

Brendon Mackey (top of head)
7/4/2016 – Midlothian, VA
“A seven-year-old boy died Friday after being shot in the head by a stray bullet Thursday night while watching Fourth of July fireworks, police say.” […] “It wasn’t until the boy was taken to the hospital that doctors discovered a bullet wound in the top of his head, Badgerow says, according to the station.”*

Aaliyah Boyer (top of head)
1/1/2013 – Elkton, MD
“Aaliyah Boyer was killed when Cecil County Sheriff’s officials said a bullet fell from the sky and struck her on the top of her head.”*

Marquel Peters (top of head)
1/1/2010 – Decatur, GA
“The stray bullet came through the roof of the sanctuary of the Church of God of Prophecy and struck Marquel in the top of his head.”* “The boy, playing with a video game, and his mother were waiting for a 12:30 a.m. concert to begin at Church of God of Prophecy near Decatur when Marquel was shot in the head by a stray bullet. Marquel was on the floor, crying and bleeding, when medics arrived, but he died later at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.”*

Grant Pinkstaff (near top of head)
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The bullet entered near the top of his head and traveled under the skin around his skull. It is now resting permanently near the back of his head.”*

Javier Suarez Rivera (top of head)
1/1/2015 – Houston, TX
“Friends and family gather in support of 16-year-old Keyla Rivera, whose father died about 1 a.m. Thursday in southeast Houston after being hit in the top of his head by a bullet.”*

Brandon Yam (top of head)
“Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reports indicate that around 9:25 p.m., Yam was struck ‘in the top of the head by a stray bullet.’ ”*

Amy Silberman (top of head)
12/31/1994 – New Orleans, LA
“[O]n New Year’s Eve 1994, Boston tourist Amy Silberman was killed by a falling bullet while watching fireworks on the Moonwalk along the Mississippi river. One moment she was listening to music and talking to friends in the massive holiday crowd, the next she was falling to the ground, a bullet lodged in the top of her head.”*

Richard Smeraldo (bill of cap)
7/4/2012 – Safety Harbor, FL
“The bullet traveled through the bill of Smeraldo’s cap, into the bridge of his nose, out his right nostril, through the upper portion of his bottom lip and exited though his lower chin.”*

Roof of House
7/4/2016 – Hencrico, VA
“Police say the victim reported gunfire around 9:45 p.m., with one round flying through the roof of her home. Officers determined it wasn’t intentional; it was celebratory gunfire, shooting illegally into the air.”*

Roof of House
1/4/2016 – Northland, OH
“A Glenhaven Drive resident also reported that apparent celebratory gunfire damaged his house. In a report filed at 9 a.m. Jan. 1, the man said a .45-caliber round crashed through the roof sometime after 2 a.m.”*

Roof of House
1/1/2016 – Sacramento, CA
“ ‘We just heard the bullet go right through the ceiling,’ she said. In a panic, Jimenez jumped up only to find the bullet inches away from the couch where she and her three young children were sitting.’ “*

Hood of Car
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA

Windshield of Car

Branon Vaughan
7/4/2016 – Tulsa, OK
“The force of the impact made Branon Vaughan stumble left, then to the right, finally dropping to a knee with his arms on a wall to brace himself. The 35-year-old wondered if he had walked into a street sign. Seeing none in the area, he reasoned it might have been a beer can thrown at him.”*


Termination (no exit):

Saul Bermudez
7/4/2016 – Kansas City, MO

“Police obtained the bullet that was pulled from the teen’s shoulder. They said they may have a difficult time tracking down where it came from, as bullets can travel over a mile and a half.”*

Amber Bartles
1/1/2016 – St. Petersburg, FL
“I was standing but leaning on a car. If I was standing up straight it would’ve gone right through my head.”*

Officer Travis Weber
1/1/2016 – Stockton, CA
” ‘I heard a loud pop and then felt a sting to my right leg. The loud pop was it (bullet) hitting the vehicle and then ricocheting toward me,’ Weber said.”*

Window of House
1/1/2006 – Stockton, CA

1/1/2016 – Snellville, GA
“About an hour later Adrian said he walked into their bathroom and found a bullet laying in his shower. ‘I opened my shower and stepped in and immediately saw the fragments of tile there,’ said Adrian. ‘The bullet hole entered right at the base of my shower.” The Hayes family believes it was celebratory gunfire.’ “*

Kaitlyn Jacobs
1/1/2015 – Tampa, FL
“Was sitting in the Gwazi Pavilion area just before midnight when she suddenly felt pain in her lower left leg.” […] ” ‘The biggest thing is we don’t understand how there are two holes and a bullet in my leg,’ said Jacobs.”*

Blair Shanahan Lane
7/12/11 – Kansas City, MO
“Five years ago, Blair was dancing with her cousins during a party. A stray bullet struck Blair in the neck and killed her; the bullet was shot from a distance more than three football fields away.”*

Man Hit in Stomach
7/4/2016 – Corpus Christi, TX
“Corpus Christi Police responded to the home, located in the 4200 block of Easy Street just before 9:30 PM, and when Officers arrived they were told that a bullet came through the kitchen window and hit the homeowner who was sitting inside in the stomach. Luckily, he was not injured by the bullet. Officers believe the shot came from an open field near the home, where gunfire had been heard earlier in the evening.”*

“Tableau of a Bladder Operation”

“Operation de la taille” was the the medical procedure for removing a bladder stone by cutting (taille = cutting in French). For a perineal lithotomy (removal of a bladder stone), the patient was tied into the position used in modern medicine for the gynecologic exam and still called the “lithotomy position.” Jacques Beaulieu (Frère Jacques) performed 4,500 perineal lithotomies including several in Paris and Versailles. He may have been the surgeon who did the operation to which Marais is referring. Because the operations were performed without anesthesia, speed was of the essence. William Cheselden, (1688-1752) considered the greatest lithotomist of all time, reportedly performed perineal lithotomies in 53 seconds. Given this, it’s possible that the operation in Marais suite is intended to depict the procedure in real time.

–Mai-Lan Broekman, MD, VdGSA News, Sept. 2006

View of the surgical apparatus
Trembling of the patient
Resolution to climb the operating table
Arrival at the top
Lowering of the operating table
Serious reflections
Arms and legs are tied
with silk ropes
The incision is made
The surgical forceps are inserted
The stone is pulled
The patient almost loses his voice
Flow of blood
The ropes are untied
The patient is transported onto his bed
The recovery
L’aspect de l’appareil.
Frémissement en le voyant.
Résolution pour y monter.
Parvenu jusqu’en haut.
Descente dudit appareil.
Réflexions sérieuses.
Entrelacements des soies
entre les bras et les jambes.
Ici se fait l’incision.
Introduction de la tenette.
Ici l’on tire la pierre.
Ici l’on perd quasi la voix.
Écoulement du sang.
Ici l’on ôte les soies.
Ici l’on vous transporte dans le lit.
Les relevailles.

Mouchette (1967)





Arsène’s Bite Wound Cauterization

Mouchette’s father: “She was a brave woman.”

Once upon a time the dead were embalmed. Now they’re not even washed. I know the departed go to heaven, as the curé says, but even so…. The dead were worshipped once. They were gods. Real religion, that was.

Mouchette works mud into the old woman’s rug. She whispers, “You’re disgusting, you old bitch.”

Final scene:
Mouchette holds the thin fabric of the dress against her body. The bottom of the dress gets caught on a bush and tears. The sound of a tractor motor can be heard. She raises her hand as if to get the driver’s attention. He looks back and continues on. She wraps the dress around her body, over her clothes, and rolls down a hill. Leaves, twigs, and dirt cling to her clothing and to the dress.

Throughout most of the film, she has worn no expression on her face. In one scene, where she appears to be enjoying riding the bumper cars, she smiles. In a few scenes, she is shown to have tears on her face (though, her expression doesn’t change). In this scene, whatever she’s thinking is her secret as her expression remains neutral. She rolls down the hill a few times before dropping into a pond at the bottom of the of hill. The camera stays fixed on the water. She doesn’t surface and music beings to play. It’s clear that this shot of the water’s surface is rewound and replayed several times to prolong the shot.

Are Prescription Drugs Safe?

A talk by Sidney M. Wolfe


The Food and Drug Administration approved them, your doctor prescribes them, and you see them advertised on TV-so your medications must be safe, right? Then why is Consumers Union bothering to publish alerts about drug hazards?

More than half of all prescription drugs cause adverse effects—some serious or fatal—that aren’t detected until after the FDA approves them, sometimes many years later. Such delayed detection contributes to the high number of drug-related injuries in the U.S. In 2008 alone, the FDA received more than 100,000 reports of serious injuries related to adverse drug events, an increase of about 25 percent over the previous year, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Some of the delay is inevitable: It’s simply not possible to detect every risk before doctors start prescribing a drug. Doing so would require clinical trials that would be prohibitively large, long, and costly.

In addition, the U.S. system for identifying drug risks before approval is flawed—and the one for spotting them afterward is even worse. The 2007 FDA Amendments Act promised many changes in the drug-safety system, but whether they will be sufficient, even if the agency uses its new powers effectively, remains to be seen.

Here’s a closer look at why you face these unexpected dangers, and what you can do to protect yourself.

If you have addiction problems you could turn to Recovery Delivered this site helped support groups and therapy sessions.

Alda’s Memoir

Dr. Zepeda explained what he was going to do: “The blood supply to some of your small intestine has been choked off, and it’s dying,” he said. “I have to go in and resect the bad part and then sew the good parts back together.”

“Oh,” I said. “You’re going to do an end-to-end anastomosis.”

He was stunned. “Yes,” he said. “How did you know that?”

“I did many of them on M*A*S*H.”

from Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned