Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Author Question: Fire Extinguiser Versus Face

Theresa S. asks:

While fighting off an attacker, my MC strikes him across the face with a fire extinguisher canister. She's shorter than him, so the swing would be upward, and it struck him (on, near, around) the
cheekbone. I imagine this could create a gash, yes? And if it did, what do you think the gash would look like?

He will not visit a hospital (so he won't get stitches), but instead will have a friend "patch it up" which, I'm not quite sure what that will entail.

Jordyn Says:

Hi Theresa,

Thanks so much for sending me your question.

Yes, this type of injury could easily cause a laceration to the cheek. In my experience, it would be a linear or straight cut of varying size maybe at the largest 1-2 inches. He also has the possibility of facial fractures (after all, those things are big and heavy) and a chance of traumatic brain injury as well (something along the lines of a concussion.)

The best way to get a cut "patched up" as you say is to use butterfly closures but many people do not know how to apply them correctly. A sticky end of two pieces should be applied on either side of the cut, then the edges drawn together, and then opposing sides taped down. Almost like you're pushing the ends of a box together.

Here's a video that covers how to apply butterfly closures but it doesn't use my technique which I do find more effective.

Hope this helps and happy writing.


Theresa Santy recently won the FaithWriters Page Turner Contest for her novel-in-progress. She has a passion for writing but also loves Jesus, family and friends, laughter, and flip-flops. Learn more about Theresa @ theresasanty.com.


  1. Friend could use:
    - Super glue
    - Skin stapler from amazon.com
    - Steri-strips and tincture of benzoin from amazon.com
    - Veterinary suturing materials from amazon.com or the feed store
    - Honey, neosporin, or silvadene topically for skin infection
    - Veterinary antibiotics for infection from feed store or fishmoxfishflex.com. Consult sanford guide for appropriate antibiotic, available on amazon. Dr. Eric (youtube channel survivalmedicine) also has useful info on this.
    - Temporary cavity filling for broken teeth from any drug store
    - How-to videos available on youtube

    Facial and scalp lacerations bleed like crazy. Always looks like more blood than it is.

  2. Could the cut be curved like the bottom rim of the extinguisher? Would probably leave a bruise which might spread to be a partial black eye.

    1. Yes, Laura. This could happen as well. Definitely bruising that could spread to around the eye. Most often bruising follows gravity so if it is next to the eye and slightly lower-- it may not affect the eye too much.

  3. Excellent points, Drew! Thanks for adding your expertise.