1. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    Trauma Center! Need help with injuries.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by stormcat, Jan 4, 2014.

    Over the course of my story, Individuals will suffer from the following ailments:

    1. Gunshot wound leading to punctured lung
    2. paralyzation from the neck down, caused by gunshot
    3. Severe lacerations
    4. a stroke and "locked-in syndrome"
    5. a stillbirth
    6. various vaccine-preventable diseases (It's for a hospital scene)
    7. fall from a great height (resulting in death)

    Problem is I don't know anything about any of these. Any idea where I can find information?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    With the amount of medical expertise you need, I'd recommend meeting a trauma nurse or an EMT in your area. A trauma surgeon migh be an even better choice, if you can find one with any free time. This way, you can find out not only the medical information you need, but an understanding of what it's like to work in a trauma center.

    Most professionals are happy to find someone interested in what they do for a living. And they appreciate when people want to get the real story, not just fake it based on shallow research.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Have you tried to find anything yourself? Just Google these things, see if you still need help, be specific about what you didn't find and get back to us. I can help you with specifics, but I don't think it's helpful to do the basic legwork for you here.
     
  4. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    I have, but from what I've found (other than the vaccine-preventable illnesses) is a small list of symptoms and how to treat them. It just doesn't seem to make it "real" enough for me.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    OK then, new found friend ;) , you need to be more specific.
     
  6. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    alright, currently I'm working on the punctured lung thing. My character has been shot, but I don't know where to go from there.

    My research indicated "bubbling blood" that comes with a punctured lung, but they didn't specify if the bubbles from at the wound or in the veins like the bends.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  8. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    Now then, despite shortness of breath, can my character stagger about fifty feet or so to reach help?
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Definitely, if that is the key injury.

    What makes one fall into unconsciousness immediately is trauma to a major blood vessel in the chest. Hit the heart, aorta or the pulmonary artery and rapid blood loss leaves the heart without enough cardiac return to pump blood to the brain. But puncture a lung and you have plenty of reserve, both time to act and survival are possible.

    The other thing that renders you unconscious and seconds from death is bleeding into the pericardial sac. It squishes the heart, essentially stopping it from pumping.
     
  10. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    Wonderful!

    Now, when the character actually reaches help, what do the doctors actually do?
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The person needs a respirator. The balloon is popped, you cannot suck air in by expanding the chest, one has to pump the air in from the outside. They need to put in a chest tube to drain the blood and air that is pushing in on the lung from within the chest.

    If this was a gunshot, the person would go to surgery for the repairs and bullet removal.


    Before you worry about this level of detail, why does it matter to the story and how far along writing the story are you?
     
  12. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    I'm approximately halfway through the story, and I simply would rather do things "the right way" rather than have a professional call me out on it. Also, I could use a good excuse to send this character to a hospital.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    These might be things you'd be better off to ask a knowledgeable person to edit or comment on after the chapter is written. It's like fishing without the right bait to ask these general questions. I understand you want the medicine to be right. That's important. But, in my opinion, you shouldn't be writing the story around the medicine, you should write the story around the character(s) and the scene. It's so much more important. Then get an opinion on if you had the medical parts right. Those are just technical issues one can easily fix.

    Even if you had to completely change the injury, it's a minor fix. You have some mechanism of injury (gunshot?) the character is not dead but ends up in the hospital. Write that how you want the story to go. If you need to change the injuries, it's just a technicality, not a story change.
     
  14. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    There's tons of information available online. Just do a few searches. For example:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=punctured+lung
     
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  15. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    You might also check books by D.P. Lyle.
     
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  16. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    Right then, I've finished the bit about being shot. Now how about paralyzation from the neck down? Is that a realistic injury?
     
  17. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    The whole punctured lung thing, you may want to google "sucking chest wound" for better results.

    As for paralyzation from the neck down, yes it is a realistic injury (google "quadriplegic"). It happens with a broken neck/severed spinal cord in the neck vertebrae). There should be tons of info available on google.
     
  18. stormcat
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    stormcat Active Member

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    This may sound odd, but have there been incidences of depression among quadriplegics?
     
  19. Morbius
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    Morbius Member

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    Along with quadriplegia comes the total loss of mobility, the inability to take care of yourself (getting dressed, feeding yourself, going to the bathroom, loss of a sex life, etc.) so yes, there are tremendous amounts of incidences of depression, the need for therapy and problems coping with the loss of so much of a person's independence, yet retaining full mental capacity.
     

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