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View Full Version : I need a non-lethal injury



BrightSera
06-06-2013, 05:07 AM
But if the character doesn't seek immediate medical attention it would be bad AND it needs an easy, quick recovery.

I was thinking a long, like 12 inches, cut on a leg with moderate bleeding? How long would recovery from the 40 or so stitches? (I pulled the number out of the air, I know it depends on a number of factors.)

Thanks!

ULTRAGOTHA
06-06-2013, 05:13 AM
Infection. Can cause complete disorientation. Fixable pretty quickly with antibiotics.

JLowell
06-06-2013, 05:16 AM
Could it be from a gun shot? They could get a shot to somewhere like an arm or leg and be able to get the bullet out themselves or the bullet could have just given them a flesh wound that scraped the skin and didn't embed?

BrightSera
06-06-2013, 05:23 AM
I should have clarified it needs to be accidental, like something that would happen at a construction site.

Drachen Jager
06-06-2013, 05:43 AM
A gut wound could be very nasty if not treated quickly, but also heal fairly fast (well as fast as a huge gash in your leg anyhow).

If you want the character up and about quickly, a nice scalp wound might do the trick. It won't stretch or pull when they have to move later in the story like a leg or gut wound would, and even a relatively small scalp wound bleeds prolifically.

BrightSera
06-06-2013, 06:26 AM
Thank you! A scalp wound and a mild concussion might do the trick.

NikiK
06-06-2013, 11:45 AM
Infection. Can cause complete disorientation. Fixable pretty quickly with antibiotics.

I second that one. Small, deep puncture wound that gets infected. Easy to ignore because it looks so small, but symptoms (dizziness, swelling, redness) show up pretty quickly. Twelve to sixteen hours later, extreme pain and swelling, passing out. Treatment: 48 hours on intravenous antibiotics, painkillers, then oral antibiotics for the next 10 days.

EarlyBird
06-06-2013, 03:22 PM
Concussion. It can knock one out for a time but they could continue on, albeit with a nasty headache. Vomiting is common with a head injury and would look pretty in a scene.

NeuroFizz
06-06-2013, 05:43 PM
No matter what you choose, do not rush the recovery--make it realistic. Choose your injury based on your needed recovery time--do not try to fit an injury into that time frame if it is unrealistic. It will piss off readers. I'm tired to death of writers who injure a character and then a few scenes later forget about the injury like it never happened. This means you may have to revisit the injury (and its consequences) in subsequent scenes. Plan for realism.

And realize that something as simple as "turf-toe" can sideline a hulking football player for several weeks.

jkenton
06-07-2013, 08:02 AM
When you say that you need it to heal "quickly", what time frame are you shooting for?

OJCade
06-07-2013, 08:37 AM
Tetanus. Not that it's an easy recovery if you get it, but if your character accidentally steps on a nail at the building site he/she is likely going to have to go for a tetanus booster fairly smartly. If they don't, tetanus is a horrible dangerous disease.

On the other hand, recovery from a tetanus booster is well nigh instantaneous, unless you're prepared to whine about pain until the doctor gives you a lollipop. Add a couple of stitches to the bottom of the foot and that'd heal up fairly quickly too.

BrightSera
06-08-2013, 08:55 AM
When you say that you need it to heal "quickly", what time frame are you shooting for?

A week. Inconvenience is okay, but he needs to be fully functional in a week or so.

ULTRAGOTHA
06-09-2013, 01:23 AM
Tetanus. Not that it's an easy recovery if you get it, but if your character accidentally steps on a nail at the building site he/she is likely going to have to go for a tetanus booster fairly smartly. If they don't, tetanus is a horrible dangerous disease.

One doesn't have to step on a nail to get a serious infection that will debilitate even a healthy person quite thoroughly but allow them to recover in a few days.

Even a tiny inconsequential wound--scratched mosquito bite, for example--can be the source for cellulitus that can make your character incoherent and unresponsive (or, worse, completely unaware of where/when/who s/he is but still vaguely ambulatory).

It can clear up in less than 24 hours with IV antibiotics (or two or three days in hospital for IV antibiotics and recovering from being incoherent if you want) followed by oral antibiotics for 10 days. (Or can drag on for weeks more with more antibiotics if you want it to. Not the incoherentness, but the ache and localized pain of the infection and redness and swelling that comes and goes.)

OJCade
06-09-2013, 01:59 AM
Yeah. There's been a case recently here - friend of a friend, that sort of thing - where the woman got scratched by a rose thorn while she was gardening, and ended up in hospital, in an induced coma, because she developed tetanus from that. You can pick up infections anywhere.

I just suggested the nail because of the building site setting.

NikiK
06-09-2013, 02:17 AM
Yeah. There's been a case recently here - friend of a friend, that sort of thing - where the woman got scratched by a rose thorn while she was gardening, and ended up in hospital, in an induced coma, because she developed tetanus from that. You can pick up infections anywhere.

I just suggested the nail because of the building site setting.

That's similar to what I based my suggestion on, as well. Only mine was from personal experience. Clawed by a cat. Didn't think it was a big deal until the next day I woke up on my bathroom floor with only a vague idea of how I'd gotten there. Two days in the hospital, 10 days for oral antibiotics, but feeling reasonably better within a week.

Reverend Ben
06-12-2013, 03:04 AM
Arm and hand injuries are pretty awesome. Especially if they are on the dominant side. creates lots of space for other stuff to happen.

Likewise, ankle, foot, and knee injuries can do anything from destabilize or slow a person, to making them completely immobile for anywhere from one day to 8 weeks. I just twisted my ankle and fixed it up with Chinese herbal soak stuff. one day with a cane, three days limping slowly and grimacing, and now I'm better.