1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Death in hospital question

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by agentkirb, Oct 16, 2011.

    I was going to have part of the plot I was working where someone suddenly dies in a hospital bed. Not from something like Cancer where they know the end is near and it's just a matter of waiting, and not from something where it's a hospital mistake and they die in surgery. It has to be something where they appear fine one moment... they are just chilling in a regular hospital bed (maybe with a heart monitor or some kind of IV attached) and then suddenly they have a heart attack or stroke or something. Does anyone know of a realistic scenario where that could happen? I don't think it could be a heart attack or stroke on it's own because I would think that a hospital would be able to do something to keep you from dying to that. It would have to be something they didn't know about that just suddenly hit them.

    I'm thinking maybe they go to the hospital originally because of pain in their chest and they get checked out and nothing appears to be wrong at first, but then suddenly BAM they are gone. Maybe like a bad reaction to medicine or something.
     
  2. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Let me try to remember my limited ER training. And give some quick ideas.
    Just because you are having your heart attack in a hospital does not mean you are going to make it (remember that the heart still beats during a heart attack).
    Maybe a brain aneurysm?
    Or pop into asystole (2% hospital survival rate for that)? Maybe have a Myocardial infarction that he makes a mistake about( hard to pass of as unnoticed in a hospital). Pneumothorax as a complication of surgery? Hyperkalemia, that would bee a good one. it often goes unnoticed until something bad happens. an extreme version is used for lethal injection. Its often only noticed in blood tests
     
  3. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Hmmm... brain aneurysm would be easiest to explain, I probably don't want to throw crazy medical language at them if I don't have to. I'll look up more information on the other things to see if maybe those wouldn't be better for the scenario I'm trying to pull off.
     
  4. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    hey i just hope it helps.
     
  5. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Do you know what usually happens when someone gets a brain aneurysm? Like... I know now what it means, it's like a blood vessel rupturing in your brain, but like do you just collapse dead suddenly or is there like a period of time between when it happens and when you actually die?
     
  6. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    The biggest indicator is a sudden and extreme headache, that puts any hangover to shame. That is the biggest indicator. I have heard that its one of those pains that just consume you and you cannot think through the pain. The pain is often located behind one eye, temple, neck, or back of skull. It is likely one eye will be dilated, and they eyed will not be able to move normally.
    Some other symptoms are light sensitivity and stiffness of the neck (meningitis like). Nausea and vomiting happens, along with blurry vision. After this you might see changes in mental status ranging from confusion to coma. 25% of people will have a seizures. However these symptoms do not always turn up.
    Time varies by case, but I can take a few minutes at its fastest from the rupture. A lot of it varies on how bad the rupture is.
     
  7. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    On a different note... what would have to happen for you to die of a heart attack in the hospital? Assuming it's not extreme negligence or anything like that.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My understanding is that, yes, you can indeed have a heart attack and die in a hospital. They keep you in the hospital when you're at risk because you have the _best_ odds of surviving there, but that still doesn't guarantee survival, by any means. I don't think that you need anything special for this at all - just a garden-variety bad heart attack.
     
  9. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    A heart attack is when you heart is beating but its beat pattern is such that it is not efficiently plumbing blood through your system. In a hospital if they are monitoring the heart rate it should be noticeable by machines. The heart works of electric impulses. What can happen is these impulses get messed up, and you get a heart beat that does not work. so that is why you shock the heart with a defibulator. Basically it’s a hope that you can reset the heart. Now also in the hospital there are drugs and surgeries that are options. If those don’t work the heart goes to asystole aka cardiac arrest aka flat line. Which is medically dead.
     
  10. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    So that's probably the best way to do it then.

    Basically what I was going for was in the past someone had died for some reason in a hospital after being admitted for innocent reasons... maybe routine surgery or some kind of symptoms that put you in the hospital for a few days. Flash forward to the future and someone is telling the story of what happened and I wanted to be able to say something like "So and so died of a heart attack in the hospital."
     
  11. Berenice
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    Aneurism is one way, a blood clot is another.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embolism
     

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