My question is as follows a adult man in good health, 170lbs, was shot with a 45 cal. Bullet from a hand gun, and the gunshot entered the thorax in the anterolateral 6th intercostal space. The projectile proceeded slightly medially, slightly superiorly, a
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Not . Not very long. The problem would not be bleeding on the outside, which might be manageable by two rescuers, but rather the bleeding on the inside. In all likelihood, the bullet would tear major arteries in the lung itself, filling the chest cavity with blood; in fact, it is well known that a person can bleed to death internally--into the chest cavity--with little or no blood visible externally. This large volume of blood would also compress the heart and keep it from beating effectively. Even if there was no injury to lung vessels, this kind of injury would almost certainly let air into the space between the lung and the chest wall, a condition called pneumothorax. When enough air gets into that space, it becomes a "tension pneumothorax, " which again compresses the heart to the extent that it cannot function.