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mgnme
06-19-2011, 12:57 AM
an otherwise healthy 17-year-old boy loses a leg in an accident. (probably it's very badly mangled in the accident, and then deemed unsalvageable at the hospital. but there's a lot of blood loss either way.) I have a few questions about his recovery timeline. (I've tried to research this - I've found stuff about recovery timelines for scheduled amputations, like if you had cancer or something, but nothing for an amputation where there was an accident, and thus a lot more blood loss.) Assume that EMS arrived on the scene promptly, and they were in a city (hospital within 5 min from their location) since that makes a difference in terms of blood loss. Also, he was both drunk and high (pot) at the time of the accident.

1. assuming there wasn't any other severe damage besides the leg, how long before he would be conscious and "with it" enough to be talking to visitors other than family? (very close friends.)

2. how long before he would be trying to catch up on school work? well, not of his own initiative, lol - but how long before he's OK enough that his parents start handing him the work that friends have been collecting for him? (could this happen within a week? just a little work to start with?)

3. how long before he leaves the hospital? (feel free to reverse 2&3 if they're in the wrong order.)

4. how long before he returns to school?

of course, I know these will all be approximations....I'm just looking for the soonest possible time that is remotely realistic.

Thanks!! :)

rrhodes
06-23-2011, 08:16 AM
I would say probably a few (2 or more) weeks. I think there'd probably be recovery from the surgery itself. Then on top of that there'd be rehabilitation, learning to either walk with a crutch, or a prosthetic or use a wheelchair. Then if they are going to make a prosthetic, there would be time involved in getting it made and fitted. To find out for sure, maybe visit a physical rehabiliation center near your and talk to a physical or occupational therapist. I'd say at the very least probably a month before things were relatively back to normal. The school work could begin probably after about a week, as for conscious, I'd say a few days, he'd probably be out on pain killers, and even then drugged up I'd think. It seems to me like the same timeline would fit for a scheduled or accidental amputation.

shelleyo
06-23-2011, 08:49 AM
s
an otherwise healthy 17-year-old boy loses a leg in an accident. (probably it's very badly mangled in the accident, and then deemed unsalvageable at the hospital. but there's a lot of blood loss either way.) I have a few questions about his recovery timeline. (I've tried to research this - I've found stuff about recovery timelines for scheduled amputations, like if you had cancer or something, but nothing for an amputation where there was an accident, and thus a lot more blood loss.) Assume that EMS arrived on the scene promptly, and they were in a city (hospital within 5 min from their location) since that makes a difference in terms of blood loss. Also, he was both drunk and high (pot) at the time of the accident.

1. assuming there wasn't any other severe damage besides the leg, how long before he would be conscious and "with it" enough to be talking to visitors other than family? (very close friends.)

2. how long before he would be trying to catch up on school work? well, not of his own initiative, lol - but how long before he's OK enough that his parents start handing him the work that friends have been collecting for him? (could this happen within a week? just a little work to start with?)

3. how long before he leaves the hospital? (feel free to reverse 2&3 if they're in the wrong order.)

4. how long before he returns to school?

of course, I know these will all be approximations....I'm just looking for the soonest possible time that is remotely realistic.

Thanks!! :)

In 2004, my then-husband crashed his motorcycle and had to have a leg amptutated above the knee in emergency surgery the moment he reached the hospital, because he was bleeding to death. He was extremely drunk at the time. He was helicoptered from the crash sight to St. Louis University Hospital, about 11-12 minutes away by air.

He was in intensive care, on a respirator, for I think about 4-5 days, then in intensive care for another few days off the respirator. He could talk, but was very out of it. He'd had surgery on his other leg, too, because it was damaged in the same accident and required a rod and pins. Most accidents that are bad enough to require an amputation are going to do damage elsewhere, so figure that in.

Because he was drunk, his recovery was slowed, and the morphine necessary on top of coming off the alcohol provided complications, hallucinations and restlessness.

And as is common in severe accidents, he had about 4 more surgeries, a few days apart, which were necessary for cleaning and working on the amputated leg, which invariably got severely infected anyway, requiring antibiotics by IV for weeks. Because of the repeated surgeries, he was incredibly stupid for several days after leaving the ICU. It wasn't until the surgeries were done and the anesthesia started to leave his system that he started to come back into his right mind.

He was in the hospital for about a month, and then transfered directly to a rehabilitation hospital for another couple of weeks, and came on still on IV antibiotics which I had to administer every 6 hours. If your character's wounds are infected, which is common in accidents, he's not going to be going back to school for a while. Sitting was extremely painful for a while on both his stump and the injured leg, and the recovery process is an exhausting one.

There are also law enforcement issues to deal with. If you need any more in-depth information, feel free to PM.

Shelley

shelleyo
06-23-2011, 08:53 AM
The school work could begin probably after about a week.

Probably not unless he's a superhero. Granted, recovery will probably be quicker than for a 40-year-old man, but probably not that much quicker.

Shelley

GeorgeK
06-23-2011, 08:51 PM
It's not uncommon to require surgical revisions and multiple revisions of prostheses. You'd be doing well to be ambulatory on a comfortable prosthesis within a year.