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Varthikes
11-06-2013, 01:34 PM
I have a dragon who had half of his foreleg shot off in battle by a laser blast. The wound is cauterized, though not as cleanly as a light-saber wound would be in Star Wars, so there is some bleeding still.

I've been reading up on nursing procedures for amputations: wrap the wound, change the wrapping at regular intervals, keep the limb elevated. The last presumably to keep the blood flowing away from the wound.

My doctor has wrapped it and, in the scene I'm currently working on, is changing it and examining the wound. But, would the limb need to be kept elevated if the wound is mostly cauterized? I'm not even sure how the dragon would keep his limb elevated. If they were inside, I guess I could have it hang from the ceiling, but they're outside.

King Neptune
11-06-2013, 05:01 PM
I believe that raising the limb is to keep blood from accumulating there, so keeping it raised would be a good idea.

mirandashell
11-06-2013, 05:12 PM
So... the dragon has short forearms? Kind of like a T-rex?

Best way would be to fix it to his body in an upward position. Some sort of sling?

But if he's more of a four-legged dragon then you need to find out what vets do with dogs.

Fenika
11-06-2013, 05:49 PM
Well it depends on exactly what 'half the forelimb' means. Below (distal to) the elbow? At the elbow?

If the dragon is cooperative, just set up something for him to rest his stump on- either a teepee type frame with a cushiony 'seat' or a table like thing with a cushion. Quick and easy, and he can take his stump off and get up without assistance. This is assuming he can lie on his side partially or fully- and he'll need protection from bed sores. He should be able to get up regularly and move around though.

There are other options too, depending- wrapping it up against his body with a figure 8 bandage that ideally keeps his wings free.

The dragon will need PT to keep the remaining arm and the rest of his body moving and his joints from locking up and getting adhesions. It will also reduce pain overall. Even though PT usually hurts, sitting around allows pain signals to go into overdrive such that everything hurts.

MDSchafer
11-07-2013, 03:48 AM
So, there's a fairly common misunderstanding about cauterizing a wound, it works when the wound is small, when it's large it's just a burn, and burns seep fluids.

Honestly, depending on the technology, losing a limb is fatal, no matter how well the wound is closed the arteries and veins have to be pinched off. Believe or not they'll shift to take care of the stump fairly quickly, but unless they have some sort of healing factor they'll bleed out really fast.

As far as the wound dressing goes, it needs to be kept clean and the drainage has to be removed. We have a number of drains that do that in real life. Also, changing a dressing hurts like hell. I've seen incredibly strong men whimper and cry when they're dressing is changed, and that's normally after a pain killer.

Varthikes
11-07-2013, 03:27 PM
Well it depends on exactly what 'half the forelimb' means. Below (distal to) the elbow? At the elbow?

The limb was severed right above the elbow.


If the dragon is cooperative, just set up something for him to rest his stump on- either a teepee type frame with a cushiony 'seat' or a table like thing with a cushion. Quick and easy, and he can take his stump off and get up without assistance. This is assuming he can lie on his side partially or fully- and he'll need protection from bed sores. He should be able to get up regularly and move around though.

He is lying on his side, and, at least until the doctor arrives on the scene, I was going to have other dragons present take turns to help hold up his limb. Like how dolphins will help their sick podmates keep afloat.


There are other options too, depending- wrapping it up against his body with a figure 8 bandage that ideally keeps his wings free.

The dragon will need PT to keep the remaining arm and the rest of his body moving and his joints from locking up and getting adhesions. It will also reduce pain overall. Even though PT usually hurts, sitting around allows pain signals to go into overdrive such that everything hurts.

Forgive my ignorance, it is rather late here, but uh... PT?

mirandashell
11-07-2013, 03:58 PM
Physical Therapy

WeaselFire
11-07-2013, 05:50 PM
Lizards don't bleed like humans. Not sure if it matters since there are no recorded operations on dragons who have had a limb severed by a laser...

Besides, lasers don't shoot or blast. They're a beam, not an exploding projectile.

Jeff

GeorgeK
11-08-2013, 12:59 AM
[/QUOTE]


So, there's a fairly common misunderstanding about cauterizing a wound, it works when the wound is small, when it's large it's just a burn, and burns seep fluids. True



Honestly, depending on the technology, losing a limb is fatal, no matter how well the wound is closed the arteries and veins have to be pinched off. Believe or not they'll shift to take care of the stump fairly quickly, but unless they have some sort of healing factor they'll bleed out really fast.
That's a bit oversimplified and there are plenty of examples in history of amputees. The key is closing the wound. A guillotine amputation is basically a death sentence either from exsanguination, dehydration or infection. That suffered on the battlefield will have to be revised by a surgeon. Adding a burn on top of that is not going to help. You need at least a skin flap, preferably a myocutaneous flap to cover and close the wound


As far as the wound dressing goes, it needs to be kept clean and the drainage has to be removed. We have a number of drains that do that in real life. Also, changing a dressing hurts like hell. I've seen incredibly strong men whimper and cry when they're dressing is changed, and that's normally after a pain killer. dressings on burns yes, but not on the typical surgical wound.


Lizards don't bleed like humans. Not sure if it matters since there are no recorded operations on dragons who have had a limb severed by a laser...

Besides, lasers don't shoot or blast. They're a beam, not an exploding projectile.

JeffI'm not sure if dragons are lizards at all. If the story has dragons I'd buy some special regenerative ability.

I've used a variety of lasers in the operating room. Depending on the type of laser and the settings some things get cut, some vaporized, some cauterized, and yes some can explode.

Varthikes
11-09-2013, 02:54 PM
I probably should add that this story is set in the future--the mid-22nd Century, to be exact.

Though, I guess that would be obvious with the cause of injury--a laser weapon.