Hollywood Survival: 'Rambo: First Blood Part II' (1985)

A critical look at ten of the silver screen's oddest, most entertaining, and occasionally even accurate techniques for dealing with disaster

SCENARIO: After being shot, Vietnam vet and all-around badass John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) heats up a metal rod and uses it to cauterize the wound. If you’ve been shot in the field and you don’t have access to medical supplies, should you use the same technique?

THE EXPERT SAYS: “That’s Hollywood, for sure,” says Nester. Anyone who attempts to cauterize a wound like Rambo is just sealing in a possible infection. You’d be better off if you clean it, thoroughly irrigate it with water, and cover it while you find a way to get out of the situation and into a hospital. But you’d better do it fast. After 24 hours, any untreated wound stands the risk of becoming a serious problem—or, at the very least, a “cool tattoo.”

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