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← A Key Series of Events Helped Giffords Survive a Gunshot Wound to the Head

Steve Zara's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Steve Zara

This may sound ghoulish, But I'm curious as to what a fatal brain injury has to consist of. People can be left paralysed, or with all kinds of awful cognitive and sensory deficits by brain injuries, but surely death would not occur unless the heart and breathing stopped, and the heart can keep beating more or less on its own. Are there specific areas of the brain that need to be damaged, or is it something like general swelling that puts pressure onto the brain stem? I guess the question I am asking is why, if a bullet is fired through the head, would someone more or less immediately drop down dead?

Wed, 12 Jan 2011 06:29:34 UTC | #577004