View Full Version : A suitable injury

03-12-2015, 08:58 PM
Hi, I'm looking for advice from medically minded AWers. I need a suitable injury for my character's dad.

The injury occurs when he disturbs a burglar and must be bad enough to put him in hospital. He needs to be fairly out of it, ill enough that mum spends a lot of time there with him but gets an aunt over to look after the kids and make sure they go to school. (The 'getting rid of the parents' scenario)

After about 5 days he needs to take a serious turn for the worse. Infection maybe? some other complication?

Also in this scenario would he be in a general ward or in ICU? How would the family's visiting times be restricted. The story is set in the UK so this would be a NHS hospital.

Many thanks.

03-12-2015, 09:47 PM
Gunshot wound is the first thing that comes to mind, followed closely by an abdominal stabbing. Lots of bacteria in the belly, so lots of opportunity for infection. Peritonitis can be very bad.

Can't speak to UK hospitals. In the US, he'd be in an ICU, and while the official rules typically involve visits of 10-15 minutes limited to 2 people at a time, the length of the visit usually has some flexibility.

03-12-2015, 10:21 PM
Any kind of head injury where he lost consciouness could result in a stroke a few days later.

03-12-2015, 11:29 PM
Useful, so either a stab or a head wound then, since this is the UK so gunshot is unlikely in a burglary scenario. Can anyone give me any more information of a medical sort about his condition with these injuries and what would cause his relapse. Bear in mind I do want him to make a full recovery, but I also want Mum out of the way as much as possible :-)

King Neptune
03-12-2015, 11:32 PM
I agree on the head wound. Just getting knocked down could cause it, and it could lead to a huge amount of trouble. Even without a stroke, it could require weeks in a hospital and more time in rehab.

Mr Flibble
03-13-2015, 01:22 AM
What ward they are in depends on the severity of the injury

ICU is for critically ill or unstable patients. It would need to be an injury that is immediately threatening to his life. However if he's there, visiting times are flexible (and if he's undergoing treatment etc, there are usually waiting rooms/places to be nearby) Here's (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Intensive-care/Pages/What-happens.aspx)the NHS page re ICUs, what to expect, visiting times

If his condition is serious but not immediately life threatening or he's stable, with a severe injury he might be on a high dependency ward. Visiting times are usually limited (Here's (http://www.rbht.nhs.uk/patients/brompton/wards/high-dependency-unit/) an example) which allows doctors and nurses to go through their routines with no visitors about. General wards would be much the same re visiting hours. So the wife would still be able to be at home some/quite a lot of the time, depending on how far away the hospital is.

I agree a head injury is a good way to go. Make the burglar gave him a whack with the candelabra? :D The NHS page (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Head-injury-severe-/Pages/Introduction.aspx) about head injuries should give you a place to start.

03-13-2015, 01:56 AM
Blow to the head, hospitalized for observation; subdural bleedings can take a while to manifest/cause trouble.

03-13-2015, 05:44 PM
Thank you Mr Flibble - those links are really useful. :-) Looks like a head injury is the way to go :-)

03-17-2015, 04:31 PM
Half jokingly, half seriously... A serious kick to the boys.

A really good hit can rupture the urethra and crack the pelvis. If both of those happen he'd be hospitalized for the surgery to fix the piping and observation after. He could also develop blood clots that could cause a stroke or all kinds of problems in the lungs. But ultimately, that'd be something he'd recover from, though he'd be walking kinda gingerly for a few days.

03-18-2015, 09:14 PM
I like that one :-) Good opportunity to insert a wee bit of childish humour into the mix. Well it is a kids book :-)

04-01-2015, 10:02 PM
Just wondering, what sort of damage could someone do with a poker that fits this scenario? I'm trying to think about what weapons the burglar might find to hand as I'm not sure that kicking someone who disturbs him where it hurts is that likely - unless the person doing the disturbing has tried to stop him, but I'm not sure anyone would do that. Thoughts please :-)

04-01-2015, 10:07 PM
A poker? TBH, if I read that he'd been hit with a poker it would pull me out of the story cos I would be wondering about what kind of house they live in. And would a lot of kids these days know what a poker is?

If you want something to hit him with that you would find in your average house, you'd be better off with an ornament. I have a figurine of Miranda that would kill someone if I hit them with it.

04-02-2015, 05:40 AM
In the UK, I'd go with a cricket bat before I thought about a poker.

04-02-2015, 11:13 AM
A cricket bat! Good one! I'm trying to think about the stuff Grandpa would have lying around in his study - books and papers won't make suitable weapon! - so I was thinking fireplace but an old cricket bat is just the sort of thing he'd have propped up in a corner.

So - next question - I don't play cricket so I'm not familiar with handling a bat - but if you were a burglar and you've been disturbed and you grab a nearby cricket bat to defend yourself what sort of blow would you strike - things brings it back to what injury would be sustained.

You're all being really helpful. I so appreciate this!

04-02-2015, 01:06 PM
A cricket bat signed by the team that won the county championship in.....

A cricket bat is usually swung two-handed. Could easily break an arm if the victim raised an arm to protect themselves from the blow, or a skull fracture if they hit the head.

04-02-2015, 01:58 PM
Oh yes! Signed by the team! Love it! And yes - a really nasty break that requires surgery! But that won't keep him in hospital for long enough! Would a few cracked ribs do the trick?

04-02-2015, 02:15 PM
Only with a punctured lung. Cracked ribs are not usually serious enough. Although an embolism (sp?) might contribute to a longer stay.

Los Pollos Hermanos
04-02-2015, 04:43 PM
I've got my schooldays hockey stick next to my bed (tucked in a corner) - you never know when you might need to to giveone a good whack round the chops! There's also a hammer underneath the bed as a back-up.

My neighbour keeps a proper American wooden baseball bat next to her bed when her husband goes away on business - he got it for her on a trip to the US as he knows she gets edgy.

I'd like to point out that we live in a decent low-crime area -- honest!


04-02-2015, 05:10 PM
Ah yes, a punctured lung should keep him in hospital for a while :-) I bet there are loads of nasty complication that could arise. Would a blow with a cricket bat really cause an embolism! I wouldn't have thought of that!

Los Pollos - guard geese are very effective :-)