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Fantasy Writers

Research of less-than-desirable topics (wounds, wound complications, etc.)

Viewing 15 posts - 151 through 165 (of 189 total)
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  • #150014
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    @the-inkspiller

    [If you want to know more about frostbite, let me know and I’ll do a write-up on that too]

    Since you offered, I’ll also inquire about frostbite along with if he might get pneumonia and how that would be treated.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Skylarynn.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #150042
    The Inkspiller
    @the-inkspiller

    @the-inkspiller Thank you, that answer was wonderful. Next question is might he get pneumonia from the experience and how would they handle that?

    Pneumonia is a significant possibility due to aspirated water – that is, if he inhaled any water during the initial splash, or if he was under water long enough that he involuntarily gasped for air and inhaled water instead. Natural water isn’t purified and there isn’t really any telling what microorganisms might be living in it. River water is generally purer than stagnant pond or marsh water, and lake water may either be clean(er) if it drains into another river or into some kind of aquifer / water system. Cold water is not necessarily purer than warmer water; although warm / tropical water is host to a great many parasites and bugs, and most bacteria generally thrive in warm water rather than frozen water, a number of dangerous bacteria produce endospores through which they can hibernate through severe temperature extremes, some even up to boiling (though not forever).

    Furthermore, the shock of hypothermia sabotages the body’s normal immune response. There’s already a significant risk of pneumonia with regular near-drowning, but if the victim can’t get warm and restore normal circulation and organ function, then their risk of developing a more severe infection increases significantly.

    A brief primer on what constitutes pneumonia – it’s an infection of the lungs, whether viral, bacterial, fungal, or protazoal in nature. This infection causes inflammation and fluid accumulation on the inner surface of the lung’s alveoli, obstructing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between blood and air, making it harder to breathe and breathing less effective. Pneumonia is often accompanied by a productive cough, though usually not a bloody cough; a bloody cough may indicate a severe infection, or even tuberculosis

    There did in fact exist a substantial number of medieval medicines for various infections, including pneumonia, and they didn’t all involve leeches, and while their inventors didn’t know of microorganisms, they did test their cocktails quite rigorously (ethical restrictions being not quite what it is today) to ensure their effectiveness. A modern experiment tested one recipe called Bald’s eyesalve, which contains wine, garlic, an Allium species (such as leek or onion) and oxgall (bile from an ox). The recipe stated that, after the ingredients have been mixed together, they must stand in a brass vessel for nine nights before use. This recipe was found to be effective on Methicillin-Resistant-Staph-Aureus, an antibiotic resistant bacteria strain found commonly in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The second, greater challenge would be application, as this is a medicine for an eye infection or any other surface wound; this would not be effective in the lungs. I would have to do more research to give you a better answer, but it is plausible that there were also recipes designed to be boiled into vapor and inhaled, though the apparatus necessary to make a medieval nebulizer would be complex indeed and well beyond the reach of a frontier healer in a frozen wilderness, or indeed any doctor outside of a major city with its own medical establishment.

    As mentioned previously, pneumonia causes fluid accumulation in and around the affected lung. This may be directly treated by puncturing the thoracic cavity with a pipe, carefully avoiding puncturing the lung or heart; this creates a negative pressure outlet which will gradually suction out accumulated fluid or air. This operation carries a high risk of additional infection, but may be required emergently if the patient is unable to breathe.

    Otherwise, treatment for pneumonia is primarily going to be supportive, secondary to the hypothermia; keep the patient well fed and warm, keep them sitting upright to encourage fluid to drain away from the upper lobes which improves gas exchange, and wait for the patient’s immune system to fight off the infection.

    Now, Frostbite:

    Frostbite essentially consists of the literal freezing of your tissues, together with their blood vessels. The expansion of water as it turns to ice destroys cells while metabolic processes slow or cease entirely. Circulation stops to frozen body parts, and if not treated quickly, frostbite can result in tissue death and going necrotic – that is, rotting on the body. This can quickly become gangrene and turn into sepsis if it is not amputated in a timely manner. The severity of the frostbite is going to depend on the temperature, wind chill, if the victim was also wet at the time, and duration of exposure to extreme cold, as well as his treatment. The treatment for frostbite is similar to the process for treating hypothermia; warm the affected extremities as quickly as possible without scalding them; this is critically important, as frozen tissue is numb, and the victim won’t be able to tell if the frostbitten extremities are burning until most of the damage is already done, as the nerves which would conduct the pain sensation to the brain are deep inside your flesh, not on the surface where the boiling water is scalding your poor hand meat. For the same reason, massaging the affected areas is discouraged, as it will do little to restore circulation or warmth and is more likely to break off frozen skin and flesh – much like frozen chicken tenders. :)))
    A healer might know this and avoid massage and/or restrain their patient from doing it themselves, but your average medieval joe / jane probably won’t.

    Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

    #150046
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @the-inkspiller

    Woah, sorry, I didn’t mean to get super personal….

    I, uh, yeah, either way that was incredibly helpful!! Thank you so much!

    Is there like a series of events that happen during the process of getting drunk? (headaches, sweating, etc.)

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #150068
    Isaiah
    @allertingthbs

    @erynne Hey, in answer to the “is there a process” question here. I guess the answer, unfortunately, is “it depends.” Generally speaking, there are a couple levels to inebriation between sober and super drunk.

    1. Warmed Up- After maybe one drink (assuming tolerance is decent) not a lot of difference will be felt, maybe a little more talkative. Depending on what they’re drinking (beer is lighter and liquor is heavier) they could start feeling warm if it’s heavier. Not so much if it’s something lighter.

    2. Buzzed- By the end of drink 2, talk and actions are pretty loosened up and actions get a little less controlled. Imagine a group of adults around the grill at a barbecue around 5:30 PM, laughing at jokes and how they can’t wait for the burgers to be done. Nobody is falling over or knocking things over but they’re pretty clearly not just drinking water.

    3. Drunk- Drink 3-4-5 (tolerance dictates here) coordination is pretty well gone and words are getting slurred. This is the uncle who falls off his chair at the cookout after dinner and keeps knocking over his cup and plate. Face can get red and drinker can be sweating depending on the situation. If they move too fast or suddenly they can get disoriented and even nauseous. Drinkers at this stage can either be funny drunk, angry drunk, sad drunk, etc. Most of what you see in movies around people who are drinkers are in this stage. If they lay down for too long they’ll probably fall asleep.

    4. Blackout- Drink past 4-5 Alcohol has affected them so much that they are not aware of what they’re doing or saying. Probably throwing up or falling over at this stage. Not talking much or moving around much unless they blackout a lot. It usually takes a lot to get to this point but once someone is really really drunk there’s not a whole lot they can do to “sober up” besides sleeping it off. Stumbling around and mumbling is the most you’ll usually get out of someone who’s blacked out (again, unless they do it a lot).

    Heavier set people tend to have sweats or heat flashes more than thinner people I think during drinking, but I could be wrong on that. As for headaches, that’s almost always the next day or even during the night. It happens because the body is super dehydrated and essentially lightly poisoned from the alcohol. IF someone drinks 1:1 alcohol and water, the headache isn’t too bad. But during the night of drinking headaches or body aches aren’t too present. Hope this helped answer your question!

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
    -Quipmaster 2005

    #150070
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @allertingthbs

    That helps a lot!!! Thank you so much!

     

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #150071
    The Inkspiller
    @the-inkspiller

    @Erynne, No worries! If anything, writing about the negative effects alcohol had on my life is a healthy reminder of why I stopped drinking and why I don’t want to drink alone again or ever walk back into that position of dependency. I’ll still drink with friends, who can watch me and keep me from having too much, but I will never keep alcohol in my house again.

    And @allertingthbs provides an excellent, succinct description of the stages of inebriation. One thing I will add is that by Stage 3, your sense of balance becomes extremely sight dependent (in my personal experience). Being drunk in the dark is a recipe for vertigo and extreme nausea, and laying down flat would also make my head spin. At that point, I had to sit up in bed with the lights on, chugging water for an hour with my back against the wall until my head stopped spinning enough for me to turn the light off and go to sleep. Throwing up in your sleep is a quick and easy recipe for choking to death. :))))

    Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

    #150072
    Isaiah
    @allertingthbs

    @erynne You’re welcome, it’s certainly something that not everyone really knows what it’s like. Even for experienced drinkers it can be tough to divide up into understandable steps.

     


    @the-inkspiller
    I agree, talking about difficulties in life can be as strong as the initial step taken to work past said difficulties. I do the same with mental health and depression. Even though it can be uncomfortable for some to talk about, I’m super open to discussing what I went through and what the improvement path has been. Both to remind myself about how far I’ve come and for others to understand that they’re not alone in it and that they too can get help. And yes, yurking in your sleep is suuuuuuuper sketchy in terms of how well it’ll turn out.

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
    -Quipmaster 2005

    #150073
    The Inkspiller
    @the-inkspiller

    @erynne

    A random aside, horses love the taste of beer, as it essentially resembles pre-digested barley / wheat / hops, their preferred feedstock. Horses also have an extremely high alcohol tolerance, even accounting for their comparative size (3-8x the weight of an adult male human), as their gastrointestinal tract is specialized in digesting grains and plant matter and breaking it down through fermentation, while their livers are similarly specialized to rapidly metabolize the resultant alcohol products into usable energy before it can actually enter the bloodstream and affect them neurologically like it does to humans or animals less specialized in digesting grains – like dogs or bears.

    It’s uncertain if horses can even get drunk: for reference, the average horse has about 12-15 gallons of blood in their body, compared to 1-1.5 gallons for humans. By doing some questionable calculations, to get a horse legally impaired at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% – without accounting for the increased efficiency of their liver and intestinal tract – a horse would need to consume more than 12 beers an hour – versus more than 1-2 beers an hour for an adult human. A ballpark estimate for how much they would actually need to get drunk based on their improved digestive tract – probably more like 20-30 beers an hour.

    TL;DR: for horses, alcohol is to grain what table sugar is to fruit for humans. To them it’s basically the concentrated essence of Y U M.

    Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

    #150074
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @allertingthbs

    Yeah, I have a lot of alcoholism in my family, so I know how they act, but I don’t know how they feel or what they think.

    I just have one quick scene that I need this information for. It can be aggravating how much research goes into a few words XD

     


    @the-inkspiller

    I actually knew some of that! I was in love with horses for a long time. I did not know that horses may not be able to get drunk, though. It will now be my life goal to see a drunk horse 😂

    Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you ever know who would love the person you hide.

    #150426
    Miller
    @miller

    So anyone know if you can die to a stab wound in the abdomen or stomach? Google isn’t helping me at all.

    Answer when you have the time and thanks!

    #150427
    Isaiah
    @allertingthbs

    @miller Stomach/abdomen stabs are tricky. In order to be a fairly quick death, you need a couple things to happen. Massive loss of blood, direct damage to heart/lungs, or damage to the brain. Basically anything that will very quickly prevent oxygen from reaching the brain and other vital organs.

    A wound to the stomach area (what we think of as the stomach) is actually pretty unlikely to insta-kill someone. That area has blood vessels, sure, not no major veins or arteries to sever and cause catastrophic loss of blood. It holds no vital organs, mostly what we think of as guts: digestive stuff. Sure there are kidneys and a liver and stuff like that in the area but they’re closer to the rib cage area than the soft abdomen.

    Stab wounds to the abdominal area will not bleed someone out quickly or damage super vital organs but it WILL cause something super nasty: sepsis. Basically (grossness ahead) stomach acid, undigested food, and fecal matter that are all usually held safely in the digestive track are allowed to get into the spaces between organs when stabbed repeatedly in that area. All that nastiness will basically damage the cells lining other organs and slowly rot someone from the inside (sorry again for grossness).

    So in short, when you see someone get stabbed in a movie in the stomach area like Heath Ledger’s character in The Patriot and they die 5 minutes later, that’s movie magic to drive the plot. If a modern guy/gal gets seriously shanked, they’d get rushed to an operating room and a surgeon removes grossness and repairs intestinal walls. Pretty survivable as long as that nasty stuff isn’t allowed to sit for too long.

    Hope this helped and didn’t gross you out too much!

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
    -Quipmaster 2005

    #151244
    solanelle
    @calidris

    Hello!  I have a few questions regarding gunshot wounds

    I have a character who’s going to be gunned down in an act of revenge, and I’m trying to balance that fine line between drama and realism.

    For a little bit of context, this is set in a fictional Cold War setting, so medical technology, ambulances, telephones, etc. are all present.  This country is dabbling with advanced medicine and medical technologies (particularly genetic modification – the creation of super-soldiers is an extremely significant plot point), so I think it’s safe to say that its medical system is probably pretty advanced as well.

    I need there to be a significant amount of blood loss – it’s going to thoroughly ruin his suit (important for symbolic reasons).  I’m thinking he was hit in the chest or abdomen, but obviously that’s going to result in some pretty severe blood loss and he needs to survive.  I imagine multiple wounds, but again, I don’t know how realistic that would be.  This was a surprise attack, so I don’t think adrenaline would play a huge role in his response.  What would it feel like?  How quickly would he go into shock?  Is there any way that I can have him coughing up blood without giving him too slim of a chance for survival?

    What would the first aid look like?  He’s going to be rescued, but I’m not sure how much his defender would realistically know about first aid.  She’s the type to absorb seemingly interesting and useful information, though, and she has a friend with extensive military background (an escaped super-soldier), so I think it could be realistic to assume that she might have picked something up throughout the course of the book.  What are some easy first aid skills that she might be aware of?  They’re in a position where he can be taken to a hospital, but how would he hang on until then?

    I need his pants to be ruined, too, so I think he’s probably going to end up with a stray shot in his leg.  How would this be treated?

    His attacker is subsequently going to be shot in the head – how could he survive this?  I need him to survive so he can face the consequences of his (many) earthly crimes XD

    Also since his attacker is in such an angry and irrational state, would adrenaline have an impact on his own response to being shot?

     

     

    *laughs as one fey*

    #151248
    Isaiah
    @allertingthbs

    Oh boy, there’s a lot to go over here. Let’s dive in, shall we?

    If you want a character to lose a lot of blood, not die, and have a decent chance for survival, go for gut/stomach wounds. That area will bleed a lot but not enough for someone to bleed out (usually.) If you want them to be shot several times, you can go with either upper arm or shoulder wounds as well. As long as the left/center pectoral space isn’t hit, there’s a high chance that the heart and other massively vital organs will be missed. You can always use the “if it was a half inch higher, you’d have died” line if you want as well!

    First aid for bleeding wounds in general is pressure. Both for the book and in real life. If you come across someone who’s been shot in the shoulder and it’s non-fatal (they’re still alive) what you’ll want to do is hold a bandage or other cloth REALLY HARD against the wound. The less blood that gets out is the less blood lost, and blood loss leads to a whole lot of bad things. If someone is shot in the stomach, TIGHTLY wrap a bandage around their stomach as well. If the character is shot in the leg, have the defender put lots of pressure on the would and then TIGHTLY wrap the bandage/cloth in place. That’s a fairly standard first-aid training that most people have heard at least a couple times in their lives.

    Now for the last question: can we have a bad guy shot in the head and survive to serve his sentence? Yes! Have him get shot in the eye. If the bullet is coming in from an angle, bits the eye, and exists through the side of the eye socket instead of traveling back to the brain, it’s survivable. Plus then he can get a cool eyepatch and be a pirate villain.

    Adrenalin in fights essentially means that you can ignore *some* pain and get to safety before all the discomfort of injuries hits. For instance, if someone is running for their life and run through say broken glass, they might not notice all the glass in their feet until they stop. The brain decided that survival was more important than feeling all the pain and the adrenalin in the “fight or flight” response makes pain lessen somewhat. Getting shot in the eye is tough to affect with adrenalin, so I’d say probably nothing that could do there. But the good guy who gets shot up might not realize he was shot in the leg until he notices his blood soaked pants.

    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes"
    -Quipmaster 2005

    #151460
    ScoutFinch190
    @scoutfinch190

    Hey, does anyone know if an environment was sufficiently cold, could a wound freeze over and prevent the victim from bleeding out?

    We crazy people are the normal ones.

    #151462
    ScoutFinch190
    @scoutfinch190

    Also, does anyone know what would happen if a character breathed in fine ice particles? would it cause them to almost drown?

    We crazy people are the normal ones.

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