View Full Version : Car crash injuries requiring hospitalization

08-16-2015, 01:51 AM
I know I've seen a thread about this, but not sure if it was here or not.

Contemporary story, present day Pacific Northwest. I need the MC's love interest to be in the hospital for a few days. He's been in a car crash with his kid. She is fine. He needs to be injured enough that he's barely conscious most of the day after the crash, and then remains in hospital for another two or three days. He needs to then be off work for a bit (fire fighter), but not too long, and not be able to drive.

Blood loss? Concussion? Is that enough to be in the hospital for a few days? The MC was in a serious crash as a child that paralysed her brother and gave him lasting brain damage, so I'd like her to be worried about that with the love interest but easily reassured that he doesn't have lasting brain damage. If blood loss, what would he have cut himself on, and where, to cause that level of blood loss?

I have his vehicle (a minivan) hit by a speeding car while pulling out of a parking lot. Offset side impact on the driver's side. Doors wouldn't open on that side. He would have been wearing his seatbelt.

08-16-2015, 02:59 AM
Whoop! Found it.

Still need to know what type of injury one could sustain in a crash of that nature to cause that kind of blood loss.

08-16-2015, 10:22 PM
Blood loss would be the rarest occurrence in an automobile accident. Head trauma, with or without concussion, spraining or muscle injury, internal trauma such as torn tendons, ruptured spleen, broken ribs with a punctured lung or even just a broken leg, knee or ankle can cause everything you need. The best way to meet your needs would be a side impact on the door next to your character with knee damage or dislocation and a blow to the head causing him to pass out. Guarantees a few days in the hospital, pain medication could put him out for most of the period and physical therapy and possible surgery would keep him off the job for two to four weeks and on light duty for 30-90 days.


08-17-2015, 04:19 AM
One thing that keeps people in the hospital for a few days is IV antibiotics. If they have an open fracture that was exposed for any length of time most docs will prescribe Vancomycin prophylactically, and you need to be hospitalized for a few days. As far as being out of it in the hospital Codine or Morhpine will knock a lot of people out. Typically you need to surgically reduce an open fracture and docs will pretty liberally use pain meds the first 24 hours after surgery and that scares a lot of families.

08-17-2015, 07:01 AM
Hmm... I don't want any injuries requiring surgery, because I think they'd require a longer recovery time than he's allowed to have (by me).

I'm glad my instincts were correct that significant blood loss was unlikely in most crashes. It looks dramatic on tv, but this ain't tv, and there's nothing much to cut yourself on unless you're getting fully ejected or you're stabbed by mangled pieces of car.

Head injury it is. Thanks for your input.

I love that there's a place where you can discuss specifically what injuries to give someone, how to inflict them, and how long they will suffer. So morbid and awesome.

08-28-2015, 10:04 PM
I would have him have a head injury. That could require an induced coma for a few days, to prevent swelling in the brain as he recovers. Or any severe head injury would require at least a few days hospitalization for observation. If it's TOO severe, though, the question may come up in the reader's mind why there wasn't an induced coma.

TIP: Don't assume most of your readers don't know. Many will be nurses or like me, have some medical training. A LOT of people pick up on medical errors; I speak from experience! LOL What I would do if I were you is call a doctor you know. Even a good vet could answer. Docs love to be useful - show off their knowledge for research. Talk to someone likely to understand head injury. :) Good luck!

08-28-2015, 11:11 PM
Could you define "a bit but not too long"? Days? Months?

Deb Kinnard
08-29-2015, 01:41 AM
To the best of my non-MD knowledge, they don't offer narcotics (morphine or codeine/Vicodin) to folks with head injuries. The grogginess most folks experience with head injuries, combined with narcotic groggies, can mask a deterioration in the patient's condition. Perhaps an MD or trauma-experienced RN will weigh in on current practices.