PDA

View Full Version : Head trauma



Michael_T
06-03-2010, 09:06 PM
I have a character that needs to be unable to convey some information for a couple days. She does find herself in the middle of a fight and I was wondering if it would be at all likely that she could get hit in the head and go into a 3 day coma or something related. Or just loose some memory about the information she had gathered the day before?

Or would anybody have another suggestion as to how she would be unable to communicate (written or verbal) for 3 days?

I've found a lot of information about comas but not much on how likely it is to get into a short-term one...

Your help is greatly appreciated.

alleycat
06-03-2010, 09:16 PM
I can't really answer your question (I'm not a medical expert), but I'll add one comment. A character going into a coma is such an old stick that I would try to use something else.

A serious injury might required that the character be given such drugs in the hospital that she'd be knocked out for three days.

Or, you could have the bad guys lock her up somewhere (say, tied up in an old warehouse) and it takes three days for her to escape or for someone to find her.

Michael_T
06-03-2010, 11:31 PM
I can't really answer your question (I'm not a medical expert), but I'll add one comment. A character going into a coma is such an old stick that I would try to use something else.

A serious injury might required that the character be given such drugs in the hospital that she'd be knocked out for three days.

Or, you could have the bad guys lock her up somewhere (say, tied up in an old warehouse) and it takes three days for her to escape or for someone to find her.

Yes good point about the coma. If I were to go that route I would at least stay away form that word.

Your other suggestions are pretty good, but this scene takes place in a remote village (no doctors or drugs...well perhaps some pretty powerful herbal drugs...mmmm I like) and there are no 'bad' people here. She just gets caught up in a fight and can't be able to talk.

But I think that I'm starting to like the idea of "she gets hurt pretty bad, then the village herbalist or something like that gives her something for her pain that leaves her super groggy and confused."

Thank you for that little inspiration!

Now I think to make that work I just need an injury that can be sustained as a fight bystander that is painful enough to warrant powerful drugs, that won't leave her so harmed that she won't be able to move around and even walk a pretty long distance in a couple weeks.

I'm still curious about the coma thing though...just out of personal curiosity.

alleycat
06-03-2010, 11:52 PM
They used to bleed people enough that it made them so weak they were basically knocked out. I'm not sure how that could be used in this scenario however.

Along the line you mentioned. She could suffer some injury, to the head say. The village "doctor" gives her some herb that is also hallucinogenic. She could babble, but not make any sense. If it helps with the storyline, you could have it so she thinks she's communicating. but later finds out no one understood what she was talking about.

Stanmiller
06-04-2010, 01:37 AM
I have a character that needs to be unable to convey some information for a couple days. She does find herself in the middle of a fight and I was wondering if it would be at all likely that she could get hit in the head and go into a 3 day coma or something related. Or just loose some memory about the information she had gathered the day before?

Or would anybody have another suggestion as to how she would be unable to communicate (written or verbal) for 3 days?

I've found a lot of information about comas but not much on how likely it is to get into a short-term one...

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Research concussion. The effects can be all that you described. There's a debate about second-impact syndrome that my be of interest too.

GeorgeK
06-04-2010, 03:16 AM
a slowly bleeding subdural hematoma

Becky Black
06-04-2010, 02:07 PM
It's common for doctors to put people into an induced coma if the brain is swelling after an injury. I've used that before. Okay, so you've got no hospital or doctors, but if your local healer has seen enough cases to know that if they put someone out for a few days they have a better chance when they've got this injury, then you could do it. Plenty of folk medicine is effective even if the practitioners don't know the science behind why. And since drugs made from plants can include things as powerful as the drugs derived from poppies, then a healer might have some pretty strong stuff available!

Memory loss for some time before is not only possible, but very likely! People can lose all memory of several hours beforehand. (It's only on TV when they wake up after bing knocked out and recall exactly who hit them. But on TV of course they think a blow to the back of the head is an "off switch" as opposed to a potentially fatal injury... /rant) So having her forget some crucial stuff she learned recently would be very likely. And if the reader knows that stuff and now she doesn't, that can be used to good effect.

Like if she found out so-and-so was the bad guy and the reader knows it, but she's forgotten and so-and-so comes in and says "hey, come stay at my house to recover" or whatever, the reader will be going "Aarrgh! No! Don't go!" etc. Well, I would, but I'm dramatic like that. ;) And if he knows she knew, but has forgotten, and fears she'll remember later...

Hmm... I'm so going to have to use that somewhere... :D

Cyia
06-04-2010, 02:19 PM
Trauma to the throat keeps her from speaking, and broken/sprained hands/arm keep her from writing.

Injury to the frontal lobe at the point of trauma can block short term memory or, depending on the severity, stop the memory from imprinting at all. (That's why so many people don't remember car crashes; they strike their head on the steering wheel or windshield.)

shaldna
06-04-2010, 03:55 PM
Concussion is hillarious. Last time I had it (fell off a horse. again) I couldn't remember my own name, never mind anything else. Also, what I thought I was saying wasn't what was actually coming out.