1. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    Typical hospital stay after coma

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Justin Rocket 2, Nov 22, 2015.

    How long is the typical hospital stay, assuming no further medical issues, for a twelve-year-old boy?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    If you are talking about being unconscious for a short period of time, 24 hours of observation or they might send him home with instructions for the parents to wake him up every hour and make sure they can wake him up.

    If there is no damage or bleeding in the brain, you need to watch for signs of brain swelling for ~24 hours.
     
  3. Justin Rocket 2
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    Sorry, the kid is in a coma for six months. I should have mentioned that.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    Well, you aren't in a coma for 6 months and then wake up one day and you're fine. I've seen someone wake up after a couple of days following a cold water drowning that seemed to be fine, but it just doesn't work like in the movies.

    You need to tell me the cause of the coma if you want a realistic answer. The movie versions of a head injuries are one of the most erroneous portrayals of all the medical story lines.

    Or you can make it up like the coma was inexplicable, or followed a viral encephalitis or something.
     
  5. Justin Rocket 2
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    The boy was found in a coma at the site of a passenger plane crash in the ocean. Apparently, he was the only survivor. In fact, he is a space alien whose ship was attacked by enemy aliens and made to crash into a passenger plane.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    You can do anything you want with an alien, but you have a bigger problem. Anyone in a coma after trauma is going to have detailed medical exam so you have to explain how it is he has the anatomy of a human.

    As for an actual trauma victim that was in a coma for 6 months, that can't happen without serious brain damage. So waking up after a 6 month coma would also mean healing and re-learning whatever was lost with the brain damage. Progress after this kind of trauma is very slow.

    Once the patient in the coma is stable but not waking up, he'd be transferred to a long term care facility.

    Why do you need the alien to be in a coma for 6 months?
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    So the boy is on a ship sailing on the ocean. A passenger plane is taken over and crashed into said ship. A typical Boeing 747 would weigh around 200 tonnes. A typical SMALL ship would weigh around 5,000 tonnes. A typical cruise liner around 50,000 tonnes. I'm not seeing a "hit by plane, ship sinks" scenario as being inevitable.

    And, if he's found at the site...floating around in a life-raft?

    And, who finds him? Unless the malefactors were willing to risk US government displeasure (you saw what happened after 9/11?) they'd probably avoid US waters like the plague, and then heaven alone knows which hospital he'd end up in!
     
  8. Justin Rocket 2
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    He's a space alien. His ship is a space ship. His enemies are also space aliens.
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    ...That's not anything @Justin Rocket said.
    emphasis added.
    He wasn't on a ship on the ocean, his spaceship crashed into a plane. He was found among the wreckage on the sea.
     
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  10. Justin Rocket 2
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    Allot of the stuff below is in flux. I don't have all the details worked out and everything is subject to change.

    For the first novel, the allies of the boy believe he is dead. He is stranded on Earth and, as he is believed dead, no one is going to check on him in the future. No one is going to come back to pick him up.

    He has one chance to get home. A dingus of great power was hidden on Earth when he was sent to Earth to be hidden. If he can find the dingus and recover it, he can use it to alert his family that he is still alive. He ends up destroying it at the end of the first novel to keep it out of enemy hands.

    When he is recovered from the crash site, he is in a coma. While in the coma, his psychic powers enable him to learn a lot of English and cultural information. Due to him being in a coma, he is undetected by the enemy.

    A doctor, upon seeing his medical test results, endeavors to hide those results. He also arranges for the boy, once recovered, to be sent to live at a boarding home which the doctor's daughter manages. This enables the doctor to keep an eye on the boy after the boy leaves the hospital. Why the doctor does this is one of the mysteries of the first novel.
     
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  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well clearly the doctor is an alien too.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    I like your story @Justin Rocket. I say go for it. You don't need perfect medical accuracy since you can explain anything by him being an alien.

    You do have another problem, though. Anyone in a coma for that long is going to have lots of doctors looking at lots of test results, especially internal imaging and blood work.

    I wouldn't use the coma to teach him English (just my opinion). Rather, have him learn it as he recovers once he's awoken. He can learn fast and being unable to communicate just after he wakes up will make sense to people around him.
     
  13. Justin Rocket 2
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    But, the medical experts don't know he's an alien. So, they are going to treat him as if he were human. I need to understand how those experts are going to act.

    I can certainly do that.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    Which is why I said:
     
  15. Justin Rocket 2
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    I'm very grateful for your assist, GingerCoffee. After the boy awakes, he's going to need physical therapy and will be mute for awhile. He'll probably end up with his picture in the news due to how rare a recovery like his is and the doctor will have to work double time to secure the boy's medical records. Does that about summarize your feedback?
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    If he had a human body, that recovery sounds realistic. But there are still problems with any one doctor covering up his alien anatomy.
     
  17. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't get it. Does he have the same anatomy and physiology as a human? Because as a reader I would find that very tough to swallow.
     
  18. Justin Rocket 2
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    He does not.

    My original plan had a doctor working to conceal that fact, but that isn't going to work. So, I'm brainstorming an alternative.
     
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  19. aikoaiko
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    Hey Ginger, what about a coma of 10-12 days after trauma. Can I assume there would be extensive tests afterward as well and a hospital stay of a week or so?

    Thanks.:)
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    There would be extensive tests on any person in a coma. You have to find the cause because it might be treatable, and you need to know what's going on in order to make medical decisions.

    First and foremost you have to control brain swelling and you can't do that if you don't assess it. The brain has nowhere to go if it swells, so it literally squishes out through the small space in your neck where the brainstem passes, or through any other break in the skull if there is one. If that happens at the brainstem, it's all over, you don't recover.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_herniation

    So at a minimum, you need to know the cause of the coma and you need to treat brain swelling.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
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