View Full Version : KO blows to the head...

January 30, 2000, 09:13 AM
Was watching a program about memory problems on either TLC or Discovery (can't remember which :)) and heard this interesting bit of info.
A blow to the top of the head will not necessarily KO a person unless it is a very heavy one, probably heavy enough to fracture or crush the skull. What will KO a person is a blow which causes the head to violently and rapidly twist to the side.
The brain has a consistency approximately the same as half-formed jello. When the head is suddenly twisted, the outside portion of the brain "sloshes" around inside the skull, and does so quicker than the inside portion (think of an LP record on a turntable-the outer edge moves at 33 1/3 rpm, but the label rotates at a slower rate.) If the twisting is quick and sharp enough, it damages the synapses in such a way as to cause unconsciouness. This is why most actual knockouts in a boxing match result from upercuts and not jabs.

Shoot straight regards, Richard at The Shottist's Center http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc

January 30, 2000, 02:02 PM
I must violently disagree. Doncha watch Roy Rogers, Gene Autry etc? Get a VCR and learn something. Heck, just watch about any action show. ONE punch does it. SEEN IT with my own eyes as others have.

February 7, 2000, 03:04 AM
I figgered the problem out here was because I was dealin' with amateurs...they don't follow the script (maybe 'cause most can't read?). :D

February 9, 2000, 11:28 AM
45King, got to thinking about your LP record analogy --- both the label and the outer edge have the same # of revolutions per minute. Because the edge is farther from the center, it moves faster and farther but still only rotates the same # rpms.

And, you may be correct about the rest.

February 11, 2000, 02:02 AM
45King, just in case your interested....The brain has something called the reticular activating system or RAS. I believe the damage to the synapses you refer to is a disruption of the RAS. The RAS is responsible for maintaining consciousness and wakefulness. A blow that is strong enough does in fact damage the electrical current that is produced by the RAS causing the individual to lose consciousness. Usually the RAS reactivates itself after approx. 1-3 minutes and whoever got whacked will probably wake up pretty irritated....i.e. don't hang around. As far as the brain getting 'sloshed' around...if a blow to the head is powerful enough or if the head experiences a sudden deceleration (as in a motor vehicle crash) the brain will continue to move around in the skull. When this occurs, the small blood vessels that bridge the skull and brain can tear and the actual brain tissue can be lacerated by portions of the skull. Usually this will not cause an immediate loss of consciousness, but will put them down for the count in a few weeks or months. Small intracranial bleeds take some time to develop, but a large one could be effective immediately.

I hope this might clarify mechanism of action for knockin' someones' noggin'.


February 11, 2000, 05:59 AM
Texas Lawman, you are right, and that was an inaccuracy on my part. What I should have said is that although the rpm's are the same, the velocity at which the outer edge moves is faster than that of the inner portion of the lable. However, even that's not truly accurate, as what is happening in the case of the brain injury is that the inner & outer portions move at such disparate speeds that there is an actual physical disconnect to a minute degree. It's more like the ice skating game of "crack the whip."

Medic, thanks for clarifying that. I couldn't remember the exact terminology they had used, but what you're describing sounds like what they said. They did highlight the story of one woman who had been involved in a severe auto accident and as a result of this particular phenomenon, permanently lost her memory. She made a full physical recovery, but had to "relearn" her life, which was pretty difficult as she was the single mother of an 11 year old daughter.

Shoot straight regards, Richard at The Shottist's Center http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc