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Rhoda Nightingale
03-18-2011, 04:16 PM
My character has been chomped on the neck by a wolf. (Well, not quite a wolf, but it resembles one and its teeth are the same shape and size.) It's fairly messy, but I'm saying not deep because I want scars but no other lasting damage. Well, apart from the paranormal kind. I want it to bleed lots, but not sever any major arteries, so the bite itself is sort of where the neck meets the shoulder--close to the jugular, but not quite. My questions are: How long can I delay getting him treatment before he passes out/goes into shock/bleeds too much? Is he going to need stitches or a blood transfusion? How long would they keep him in the hospital? The nature of my wolf-creature is such that infection isn't a danger, so I'm not worried about fever or anything of that nature.

I'm planning to ask a friend of mine who's a doctor some of these questions too, but just a ballpark idea would be great so I have something to rough draft with. Thanks in advance!

GeorgeK
03-18-2011, 04:45 PM
My character has been chomped on the neck by a wolf. (Well, not quite a wolf, but it resembles one and its teeth are the same shape and size.) It's fairly messy, but I'm saying not deep because I want scars but no other lasting damage. Well, apart from the paranormal kind. I want it to bleed lots, but not sever any major arteries, so the bite itself is sort of where the neck meets the shoulder--close to the jugular, but not quite. My questions are:
What you describe in your thread title is "severe," yet this description of the events is not severe. It sounds like one of those wounds that look terrible in the beginning, but after you clean the dried blood off and scrub out the dirt you realize it's just a lot of surface lacerations.



How long can I delay getting him treatment before he passes out/goes into shock/bleeds too much?

As long as you want. If there aren't any major vessels damaged, even if he passes out with no bandaging it's plausible that the bleeding would clot off on its own.


Is he going to need stitches
Not unless it's to oversew a bleeder. You don't generally close bite wounds. The risk of infection is too high. They'd clean the wound and start him on dressing changes.


or a blood transfusion?
If you want it, just don't have the wound clot off on it's own and then have him get transfused three days later. There are rare cicumstances that might happen, but rare.


How long would they keep him in the hospital?
Until he's hemodynamically stable, so maybe not even stay in the hospital, just an ER or office visit.


The nature of my wolf-creature is such that infection isn't a danger, so I'm not worried about fever or anything of that nature.
The doctors are going to want him to get a tetanus booster and likely rabies shots...of course a lucid patient is allowed to refuse.



I'm planning to ask a friend of mine who's a doctor some of these questions too, but just a ballpark idea would be great so I have something to rough draft with. Thanks in advance!

crunchyblanket
03-18-2011, 05:46 PM
As far as I know, they would only stitch up an animal bite if the edges of the wound were too far apart to heal effectively by themselves.

The patient would only be at risk of bleeding to death if a major vein/artery had been severed. Shock can be very dangerous. If I remember my first aid, shock is one of the major risk factors for otherwise minor injuries.

amkuska
03-19-2011, 01:10 AM
One of my co-workers got bit on the face by a pitbull. (It was entirely her fault, even she admits this.) All things considered the dog was lenient, it was a quick bite and release, not the jaw-clamping bite those dogs are known for.

Unfortunately it DID bleed a lot, swelled up and made her look like she'd had her face bashed with a baseball bat, but there was nothing the doctor could do except tetanus/rabies. I suspect a neck bite that didn't puncture an artery would be similar. Lots of blood, really scary, but in the end it's just a couple of nicks.

Spiral
03-19-2011, 01:52 AM
This past summer I (quite stupidly) got between two fighting dogs. One of them got hold of my forearm.

What I learned from my hospital visit is they don't like to stitch these types of wounds. (Each nurse I saw would tell me this and then take lift my bandage and say 'ooh, but that ones going to need stitches.')Something to do with the chance of infection after they have closed it up.

Rhoda Nightingale
03-19-2011, 07:25 AM
Thanks for all the info, guys! So no stitches; tetanus/rabies shots, if the patient agrees; danger of shock, but not bleeding to death; swelling.

That's enough to start with, I think.

Tsu Dho Nimh
03-21-2011, 12:17 AM
Rhoda - If the patient refuses tetanus boosters and rabies vaccine they often get to watch a couple of videos of patients who developed tetanus and rabies. I've seen one of each as part of my classwork and they are ghastly.

Then they are requested to sign a very detailed refusal form, explaining that they are aware that they run the risk of dying in untreatable agony, that it will be too late for effective treatment when the symptoms develop, and are knowingly refusing preventive measures.

Most people get the shots.

backslashbaby
03-21-2011, 12:41 AM
They only don't stitch because of risk of infection, I think, so your guy would probably get stitched. I got attacked in the shoulder and head, and they did put some stitches in. Just as few as possible.

If you want ugly, you can get some extremely ugly tearing off of skin with animal bites. It's not nearly as serious as something that would cause someone to die of blood loss, but it looks scary and hideous!

RIFF
03-21-2011, 02:49 AM
Cat Scratch Fever- can cause death within days if not treated, probably the same for most wild animal bites.

Rhoda Nightingale
03-21-2011, 05:08 PM
Rhoda - If the patient refuses tetanus boosters and rabies vaccine they often get to watch a couple of videos of patients who developed tetanus and rabies. I've seen one of each as part of my classwork and they are ghastly.

Then they are requested to sign a very detailed refusal form, explaining that they are aware that they run the risk of dying in untreatable agony, that it will be too late for effective treatment when the symptoms develop, and are knowingly refusing preventive measures.

Most people get the shots.
Thanks for the info! I'd like to avoid watching any of those videos myself for research *gulp* but it's good to know anyway.


They only don't stitch because of risk of infection, I think, so your guy would probably get stitched. I got attacked in the shoulder and head, and they did put some stitches in. Just as few as possible.

If you want ugly, you can get some extremely ugly tearing off of skin with animal bites. It's not nearly as serious as something that would cause someone to die of blood loss, but it looks scary and hideous!
Thanks on both counts! I definitely do want some skin-tearing, now that you've mentioned that.

As for the stitching, I'm not sure. See, my character knows that the nature of the thing that bit him won't lead to infection, but the doctors won't. I'm happy with wound-dressing without stitching, I think. Unless you think they'd try to stitch him up anyway?

backslashbaby
03-22-2011, 02:33 AM
They must have to stitch a few bits up here and there.

I had 5-6 inch wounds on my head they didn't stitch, but they weren't all flapping and hideous. The flapping kind, they tacked together a bit. (I was afraid my whole scalp was torn loose, so none of this shocked me at the hospital).

It was the tearing that caused all that. My shoulder was just puncture wounds. Those don't need stitching, and are bad to stitch.

The tearing can be very dangerous on a limb or something, where the arteries can be torn into. My hard skull came out just fine :D :D (The poor doggie had an embolism or something, they think. I went into rock position very damned fast!).