In the movies, people get shot in the chest and collapse and die instantly.

But that doesn’t make sense, unless the person is hit in the brain or central nervous system. (When people have heart attacks, they don’t instantly die.)

So in reality, I want to know how many seconds the brain stays conscious after the heart fails due to gunshot.

16 Comments

  • My son was shot in the heart out his lung he ran maybe four feet and fainted no response from him heart was pumping hard still had a pulse.it took 7 to 8 minutes he took his last breath he was pronounced dead on the scene im glad he didnt suffer but sad hes gone.

  • how many seconds the brain stays concious after the heart fails “due to gun shot”.

    You asked specifically due to gun shot. The problem with that specificity is you havent defined the criteria adequately enough. I will “ASSUME” you are meaning how many seconds after the heart stops beating.

    Given that assumption, Blood flow obviously stops. The oxygen in the blood present in the brain will sustain it for a few seconds. At that time, the natural protective function of the brain is to shut down all outer cortex functions in an effort to maintain the core functions as long as possible in hopes circulation will be restored. This protective reflex causes the brain to “pass out”. When this happens, the body naturally falls down. This effect causes gravity to lessen its toll on the brain in hopes to allow flow to be restored. This ultimately allows the core functions of the medulla oblongata to last a bit longer. As the body becomes more and more starved for oxygen, it begins to “shunt” blood away from the peripheral extremities back to the core by a thing called vasoconstriction. This is a musclular thing to do and so long as there is enough oxygen present in the arteriols controlling the arteries they will constrict. This brings on that classic COLD and CLAMMY look you see in people with shock. As time goes on, organs begin to shut down beginning with your kidneys, You can survive without them for a little longer, then the Liver and pancrease shut down. (We only need them to eat), then as the body begins to loose its ability to constrict those vessels, they finally relax and that blood then pools back out to the periphery and the brain ultimately dies.

    This all happens in the time of approximately 6-10 minutes. No wonder why all EMS and Fire rescue services require a maximum of 6 minute response time!!!

  • About five to 20 seconds. A complete cardiac arrest – five seconds or a little bit more, it depends.

  • The second that your heart stops you are dead.and you feel or hear nothing.
    When your heart stops death is instantaneous

  • Blood has ceased to flow and is leaking profusely….that all happens in an instant. What body function is left is going to go into instant shock…all the veins and artieries are going to constrict and further restrict blood. While it may take a few seconds to actually be declared brain dead you would loose consciouness almost instantly.

    The only way to truly know this would to have someone hooked to an EKG (brain wave monitor) while they were being shot in the heart. Short of Hitler and his MDs I don’t know anyone who could/would do all that.

    Interesting question but doubtful you are going to get an exact science answer….

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