1. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    Basic medical knowledge needed please!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Jonalexher, Nov 23, 2010.

    The story starts with my character getting severely struck by a car. He is 9 years old at this point in the story. The opening scene is him getting rushed to an emergency operating room. What are some injuries he might have right after the crash?

    I want him to be up to the point where if the car would have been going just a little bit faster, it would had terminated his life. So he's in pretty bad shape, coughing out blood and vomiting all over the hospital stretcher.

    My other question:
    If someone wakes up from a 9 year coma, would they be extremely skinny because of lack of exercise or would the artificial feeders maintain a good amount of nutrients and vitamins in his body?
    What would his experiences be after waking up from a 9 year coma? and the most important question, how long do you think he should stay in the hospital for rehabilitation after waking up? and what kind of rehabilitation?

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. Honorius
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  3. Jonalexher
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    Amazing find! Thanks a lot Honorius!


    Also, I've been doing a lot of research.
    I found out that a coma only lasts 4 weeks at most, if someone goes beyond that, he or she is in a "Persistent Vegetative State"
    Patients exceeding a 5yr VS have 3% chance of recovering communication skills, the % is even lower for independent living. No patients recover full functionality. Mine will though, it is fiction after all.
     
  4. HeinleinFan
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    What are some injuries he might have right after the crash?
    Broken bones, torn muscles and ligaments, internal injuries and hemorrhaging, blood loss, nerve damage, huge scrapes where the character might have been dragged against the asphault by the car.

    No dice. If he's coughing out blood, he has sustained lung damage and you've killed him, Author. Spitting out blood, sure; it's really easy to cut your lips on your teeth during an impact. But coughing out blood? No.

    Also, why vomiting? He might feel nauseated from shock, but more likely he'll be feeling curiously distant, or crying, or frantic, or perhaps in the seriously shocked stage where he's calmly looking at the bone poking out of his forearm and realizing how messed over he is and wondering if he's going to die.

    It's really easy to posit that the car was going just slow enough to injure him without killing. A friend of the family was struck by a car when he was a child, and he required several major surguries to put his face back together. He still has the scars, but his intelligence wasn't affected, thank goodness. That didn't make the teasing any easier to bear, though.

    Yes to both. He'll have gotten reasonable nutrition, but his muscles would have seriously atrophied; his legs and arms may not even be able to stretch out to their full length. He won't be able to walk, he might not be able to crawl, he probably won't be able to lift his arms into the air for very long.

    His experiences would be highly unpleasant. He's too old for public school, with the mind and world-knowledge of a child even assuming his brain healed perfectly. He'll be immature, inexperienced, in a different kind of worldshock. He won't know about mp3 players or about the Internet, he won't know about modern music or politics, he won't know about popular culture.

    His parents have already gone through the stages of grief with him. His friends are all gone -- they too expected him gone forever. He may have siblings he has never known, as well as other relatives. On or more of his friends and relatives has likely died in the 9 years he was asleep. Any pets will have died or be very old -- he may have had a puppy, who is now a stranger who is old enough that the dog can't be roughhoused with in the same way. His toys, his books, have probably been donated to charity or otherwise given away. His favorite teachers may have retired or died or moved away.

    You're setting your character in for one hell of a messed over life, you know. Not even the Magical Wand of Author Fiat can fix this; if you try, your readers will go, "Oh, these aren't characters in the real world; they're cardboard cutouts in a flash game. Let's drop this book and read something more realistic instead, like Winnie the Pooh or The Legend of Rah and the Muggles."

    He'll be in some kind of physical therapy for months. Learning how to walk, how to run, how to write, how to catch and throw, how to move up and down stairs, how to talk and pronounce long words. He'll probably be at home after a week or two, possibly with doctors running tests to see how he survived the long coma, but he'll go elsewhere for physical therapy, possibly with his parents or relatives or a state worker helping him.

    He'll be put on some form of disability. He can't work; he doesn't have the knowledge or the muscle development. Slowly, in bits and pieces, he'll be introduced to the new wonders of the world. Movies in 3-D. The Interwebs. American Idol and Britain's Got Talent. Video games. Books.

    He'll have a lot to learn. Immense amounts of information to catch up on. And it will be hard. He'll feel alone, much of the time. He'll be right about that, too. He'll learn about how special he is, because the media will want to run interviews with him and his family. He'll get emails from strangers, some of them comforting, some of them cruel: "How dare u surviv whn my baby Tony didn't wak up from the comma! U r wasting ur life and ur parent's monny, I hopu realys how hurt we all wer by ur little speech on 'Oprah' and ur shamfl preformance on 'The Today Show.' "

    He'll eventually get better. Five years later, he'll probably seem like a willing-to-learn, if dim, individual. Eventually he may have adjusted enough to hold down a job and even to go on dates. Hopefully his parents don't die, or he'll be put in a state home and left there without recourse.

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but it just isn't possible to be lighthearted about someone's childhood being ripped from them through a trauma-induced coma. Your character will have quite a bit to deal with when he wakes up.
     
  5. HeinleinFan
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    Dangit. This is, what, the second time a single click of the mouse leads to a double-post? *growls at the overly sensitive programming*
     
  6. Jonalexher
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    WOW, Thank you so much for taking the time to write that.
    You described the first idea I had a year ago, but I changed many things from there on. Thanks for all the feedback, really. Yes, he will have a really dark life when he wakes up, and I already have many ideas on how to portray that :], I like the talkshow one, didn't think about it, but I don't know if fame is something I want him to have. He will not have the intelligence of a 9 year old when he wakes up, without giving much away, let's just say something happens in those 9 years :]

    Again, thanks for your time!
     

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