Sound far-fetched? Keep reading.
A guy got in a domestic dispute with his brother, and a fistfight escalated quickly to a knife fight. Well, it wasn't so much a fight as a one-sided assault. One of the brothers was brought to me with the other brother's steak knife embedded in his back. The handle was broken off. The guy seemed uncomfortable but not actively dying. Here's what his CT of his chest looked like:
That bright line going from bottom right towards upper left is the knife blade. The dark grey circle less than 1mm away from the knife tip is his spinal cord, and the white circle towards the top of the picture about 1cm away from the blade is his aorta. The black area on the right about 2mm from the blade is his lung. The bottom line here: nothing was injured. I pulled the blade out:
...and he went home the next day.
I had another gentleman who broke into his ex-girlfriend's house to confront her new boyfriend. He shot him dead, and then the girl grabbed the gun and shot him in the chest. He ran out and hid in the woods in sub-freezing temperatures for over an hour until the police captured him and brought him to me. He had a transmediastinal wound, meaning the bullet had gone in one side of his chest and all the way through the other side. This is a highly lethal injury, but all he had was two collapsed lungs. I put in chest tubes to re-expand both lungs, and the police hauled him off to prison a few weeks later.
It just wasn't his time.