1. KM776
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    KM776 New Member

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    Tips for writing about hospitals?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by KM776, Sep 18, 2016.

    I'm currently writing a story where a large portion of the start is set in a hospital, mainly an intensive care unit. The two characters that have been hospitalised are twin brothers who were in a car accident. One has a serious spinal injury and is paralysed from the waist down and is fully conscious, the other has a severe traumatic brain injury and is in a coma. I have a few queries as to setting, timescales etc which i have tried to research with varying results. I can't seem to find this information anywhere on the net, and if anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated. The queries that i have are;
    1) For the spinal injury patient, what would his room be like? would it be shared? I understand from my research that relatives are allowed to visit ICU patients pretty much whenever, but would there be particular times when the relatives are sent away?
    2) How long would the spinal injury patient stay in the ICU before being moved, and where would he be moved to? Would he be able to sit up before being moved?
    3) Would relatives etc be allowed to take pictures?
    4) what is a realistic amount of time for the TBI patient to be in a coma? Could it last for several months?

    I have very little experience with hospitals and (knock on wood) no experience with intensive care units, so these questions might be elementary to some people. I am genuinely struggling with research, though, so if anyone could give me some tips/pointers that would be amazing :)
     
  2. briankeegan
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    briankeegan Banned

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    One of the best way to write about corporation such as the hospital is to call the hospital itself. They will definitely give you a lot more details and information. And, you can utilize those to write your articles.
     
  3. Shattered Shields
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    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

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    1. Hospital rooms tend to be plain, a little cramped, with white walls. Single-bed hospital rooms don't seem to be that common, so it's most likely it would be shared. Relatives are allowed to visit, but also required to leaved whenever there is something a doctor or nurse needs to do. Whether it be adjusting the patients meds, or some more complicated procedure, the visitors will always be asked to leave (so they don't get in the way, or become a hazard).
    2. The ICU is reserved for those with active life threatening maladies or injuries, so I guess that patient in particular would be moved to another ward (I don't know which ward in particular. It might depend on the hospital) when he has stabilized.
    3. I don't see why not.
    4. Each coma is different. I had a friend whose older brother was put into a coma for 9 months, and I've heard stories of people who were in comas for years, or never woke up at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_care_unit
    http://www.cpmc.org/learning/documents/icu-ws.html

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    To answer the first. Hospitals have visiting hours, and may or may not send the relatives away depending on how extensive the patient is with there condition. But more than likely they would have to be shooed off, so the patient can receive the care that they need without getting in the way per se. They could take pictures of their injured loved one, but would probably need permission if they are taking pictures of the staff as well.

    As for your TBI question here are a few of links:
    http://www.brainline.org/content/2009/06/brain-trauma-concussion-and-coma_pageall.html
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/complications/con-20029302
    http://www.msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/Understanding-TBI/The-Recovery-Process-For-Traumatic-Brain-Injury

    The average length of a coma of this type is 2-4 weeks.


    And a few on spinal injury moved from ICU to general recovery ward:
    http://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_care/ac-spinalcordinjury_dx/
    http://www.uwmedicine.org/health-library/Pages/surgery-for-spinal-cord-injuries.aspx

    Going to go out on a limb with this one, but probably stay in the ICU until the threat of infections and so forth are minimal
    to the surgery site. Which is kind of a variable based on how well they can keep them from having any internal issues after
    the surgery.

    http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/intensive-care/intensive-care-patients-experiences/physical-recovery


    If they were at a Martian Colonial Military hospital, they would be patched up in a jiffy. And probably crying in the shower
    if they are not tough enough to just shrug it off. The Colonials are a real tough bunch. :p
     
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  5. KM776
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    KM776 New Member

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    Thank you so much! Honestly, this has helped me out a lot.
     

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