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Movie myths

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63 replies to this topic

#1 of 64 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H


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Posted November 27 2004 - 09:24 PM

From watching television and movies, I've always heard that one must be prevented from falling asleep while suffering the initial effects of a concussion, or risk death. I got to wondering about the medical explanation for this, and did a search. Strangely, the only hits I was initially getting were movie synopses, fan fiction based on existing properties, and original fiction. No medical sites seemed to address the issue. I finally found this article, containing the following information:

Unless an HTF doctor can dispute this information, it seems to me that doctors used to recommend this course of action for purely observational reasons, and medically ignorant patients mistakenly believed it to be necessary for survival. It was then introduced into the mainstream by Hollywood writers, and has now become a widespread myth.

Please feel free to list your own favorite movie myths, preferrably with some kind of documentation to dispute them, as I did above. Maybe we can get a little HTF Mythbuster squad going. Posted Image

In that spirit, I call the myth of death by sleep after a concussion to be BUSTED.

#2 of 64 OFFLINE   BryanV


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Posted November 28 2004 - 02:49 AM

Hot Water to Shave: I think Mr. Blandings may be one but a I know a lot of movies that show a man unable to shave because there is no Hot Water available and we are supposed to sympathize with his plight. It is fact horrible for your skin to shave with Hot water (that is cleaning the razor with hot water while in the act of shaving). You should have your face well wet, use lots of cream and use a razor wet with COLD water. Cold is an astringent and helps to close your pores exposing less to the harsh blade of the razor. Heat expands your skin and leaves you prone to ugly and irritating "Razor Burn". The really funny part is that the myth of hot water and shaving against the grain to get a better shave were both spoke to in movies. In "Good Morning Vietnam" they warned Soldiers not to heat up water to shave with. In "Lethal Weapon 3" Danny Glover instructs his son not to shave against the grain of his whiskers but to go along with them. So if there are any new shavers with bad razor burn out there use these tips and you will feel a LOT better trust me. And you can laugh next time some clod complains that he has no hot water to shave with.

#3 of 64 OFFLINE   MikeRS



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Posted November 28 2004 - 05:50 AM

The world according to Johnny Caspar

("Miller's Crossing")

Posted Image

#4 of 64 OFFLINE   ChrisMatson



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Posted November 28 2004 - 06:45 AM

Every bit of shaving advice I have ever seen states that hot water should be used while shaving, but cool water used after to close pores.

I will continue shaving with warm to hot water.



As for concussions, I think the point is that sleepiness is a sign of injury. If it is possible to stay awake and oriented, the injury is probably not as severe. If you suffer a head injury, you should see a doctor.

#5 of 64 OFFLINE   Bob Spears

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Posted November 28 2004 - 01:00 PM

Greg, As a board certified Anesthesiologist in the state of California I can tell you that you are correct. A decrease in the level of consciousness is difficult to see in a patient who is asleep. Head trauma patients are no more likely to go into a deep coma if they are asleep it is just that they are just more likely to slip into one UNNOTICED if they are asleep. The first few hours after head trauma are the most critical for observation so this is the period when you would want them awake to monitor for further brain swelling and increases in intracranial pressure. Robert S Spears MD another movie myth busted

#6 of 64 OFFLINE   Don Solosan

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Posted November 28 2004 - 01:22 PM

My favorite movie myth, one that was busted when I joined my company's emergency response team and got some training, is that a defibulator machine will restart a dead person's heart. Think of the scene from The Abyss: Brinkman's wife has drowned and been towed back to the moon pool. The worried crew gathers around her and goes to work. She has no pulse, no respiration. They start CPR, and zap her with the defibulator. Wrong! A defibulator is only used when the patient has an irregular pulse, a shock can bring them back to a normal pulse. The machines they have now will even analyse the patient's pulse and advise you if a shock is necessary. But the one thing it most certainly will not do is start a heart that isn't beating. Flatliners got it wrong. Robocop too. I think the guy in The Thing has no pulse when they zap him.

#7 of 64 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted November 28 2004 - 01:26 PM

All nutty psychopaths litter their dwelling walls with photos and newspaper clippings of the object of their desire/psychosis. I hate this shortcut in storytelling. Sure, it's visual and fast, but it's also overused.
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#8 of 64 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted November 28 2004 - 03:10 PM

I always shave against the grain. It gets a much closer shave then going with, at least in my experience. [shrug] Posted Image

As for myths, there's the biggest sci-fi movie myth of all. No matter how great it looks, explosions don't go BOOM in vacuum.

#9 of 64 OFFLINE   Lynda-Marie


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Posted November 28 2004 - 03:13 PM

One of my favorites myths is that Hollywood contacts anyone with ANY kind of medical experience at all when releasing some of the movies/TV shows that spread these myths to begin with! Thank you, Dr. Spears, for answering Greg's question in such a thoughtful manner. I am willing to bet that some of the best laughs you get at the movies are not in comedies, but in "medical" dramas with all of the inaccuracies. My brother attends Rendezvous/Mountain Man reenactment events, and howls with laughter every time something comes up in a movie that is historically inaccurate. He is worse than a MiSTie. When we went to see "The Alamo" he was complaining afterwards that the shots they were firing were parade rounds [similar to blanks, I guess] and wondered why, considering how bad the movie was, that someone didn't just use real rounds and at least make it entertaining. We saw this movie with a friend of ours from Texas, and he wondered what the hell happened to General Sam Houston in this movie.
The shape I'm in you could donate my body to science fiction! - Rodney Dangerfield, "Back to School"

#10 of 64 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted November 28 2004 - 03:13 PM

Yeah, that's what I do! Posted Image
Colin Jacobson

#11 of 64 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H


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Posted November 28 2004 - 04:13 PM

Thank you for your response, Dr. Spears. Between the concussion thing and Don's post about the defibulator, it seems like these kind of myths could be potentially dangerous. I've started seeing home defibulator kits for sale, and you have to wonder if someone could waste valuable time trying to use one of those when they should be getting the paramedics in post haste. I also wonder why these kinds of myths are perpetuated. It shouldn't be too hard for a production company to keep a doctor on hand for consultation purposes.

#12 of 64 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted November 28 2004 - 04:17 PM

If I shaved against the grain I would get little red bumps and a rash all over my face. I get a close enough shave if I go with the grain. Different strokes.

#13 of 64 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted November 28 2004 - 05:00 PM

Quite literally. Posted Image

#14 of 64 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted November 28 2004 - 07:01 PM

I always shave against grain. Shaving with the grain leaves me with 5 o'clock shadow, i.e. defeats the purpose. But I do prefer to shave after washing my face (even better, after showering) with warm water, to soften the beard.

#15 of 64 OFFLINE   Nick Sievers

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Posted November 28 2004 - 07:28 PM

For a minute there I thought I was over in the After Hours Lounge. Posted Image
Top 10 Film Lists: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
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#16 of 64 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC



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Posted November 29 2004 - 05:37 AM

I think you mean defibrillator, that is, a device which regularises the heartbeat by interrupting the rapid flutterings known as atrial or ventricular fibrillation. A defibulator would be a device for removing a brooch or pin stuck in the flesh; a serious problem but not one modern medicine spends too much time on. Posted Image

#17 of 64 OFFLINE   Don Solosan

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Posted November 29 2004 - 06:45 AM

They have all sorts of consultants providing expert advice on all sorts of subjects, but very often the filmmakers choose to ignore it because reality is not exciting enough. Like with the defibrillator (got it right that time!) scenes. Being realistic and saying that the patient has an irregular pulse is not as gripping as saying they're flatlining at death's door and you're making heroic efforts to bring them back. Or the sounds of engines and explosions in space. Or shaving with hot water. (Okay, so that last one isn't so good...)

#18 of 64 OFFLINE   Moe Maishlish

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Posted November 29 2004 - 07:44 AM

Don't shave against the grain? Feh! If you've got a lot of thick & dark facial hair (like me), you MUST shave against the grain, unless you really want to look like Fred Flintstone. As for not using Hot Water... I shave in the shower using one of those extentable mirrors. Wet the face, apply the cream, and shave away (with the grain, and then against for the final touch). I find that shaving IN the shower leaves me with much less irritation, cuts, and redness afterwards. Moe.
- Confidence implies the knowledge of one's limitations, while arrogance implies that one does not have any.

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#19 of 64 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted November 29 2004 - 07:50 AM

One of my favorites is when a cop dips his finger in a pile of white powder, rubs it on his teeth to determine if it's cocaine or not. I'd want to be in that acadmey class where they haul out a key of cocaine and several non-cocaine porducts to teach cops the subtle difference between illegal narcotics and sugar.

#20 of 64 OFFLINE   JonZ


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Posted November 29 2004 - 07:53 AM

Coke has a "numbing effect" thats pretty necognizable.No way youd ever confuse it with sugar.

Oh,I tried going with the grain, it doesnt work for me. I also go against the grainPosted Image

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