View Full Version : Need an injury

04-29-2019, 02:07 AM
(I feel there are a lot of these threads)

Anyway, I'm writing about a sci-fi space crew, who have a qualified medic on board. With the tech available it's a fairly simple matter to stop bleeding, set bone, and treat illnesses. But I need an injury that requires them to stop at a space station with hospital-grade equipment to fix. My initial thought is that the victim takes a nasty shoulder injury, which the medic can prevent from being fatal, but the victim can't use the arm without better care. Like, a severed tendon or something. The injury happens in a great big fight, and I could arrange any kind of cause, although the fight is mainly with heat-based weapons.

I guess I need the basics of an injury I can use, including the vocabulary, how the medic would sum up the injury, and what needs to happen biologically for it to get better.

04-29-2019, 06:38 AM
Crushed pelvis would do nicely, I think.

Severe burns.

Extensive internal injury.

D. E. Wyatt
04-29-2019, 07:56 AM
The injury happens in a great big fight, and I could arrange any kind of cause, although the fight is mainly with heat-based weapons.

You could always have the fight damage the sick bay and knock out all the fancy medical tech. Now you also have a subplot of your qualified medic frustrated that a patient has an injury that SHOULD be trivial to treat, but is now suddenly urgent and life-threatening, with a few rants on how advances in medical technology just lead people to take for granted how fragile their bodies actually are.

04-29-2019, 08:15 AM
Head or spinal injury. (Head injuries in particular: the brain's a very complex instrument. Even your basic concussion's not the light injury it's so often played of as in popular media.) Maybe they can stabilize with on-board tech, but actually healing or regrowing major nerves - or fixing brain tissue - might need specialized equipment.

As D. E. Wyatt suggested, you could also inflict damage to the shipboard medical bay. Especially if burns are the main fallout of your weaponry, that would complicate things and require repairs that couldn't be delayed.

Mostly, though, I'd suggest working backwards. Who is injured, and what needs to be wrong with them to further your plot? (Even if it's just Joe or Jane Extra, the nature of the injury will dictate urgency. A useless arm is inconvenient, but unlikely to be life-threatening if there's a delay in treatment; your captain can spend some time mopping up after battle. Throw in internal injuries, though, and your ship's going to have to burn space-rubber to the nearest spaceport... assuming the captain wants them to live.)

04-29-2019, 01:58 PM
A head or spinal cord injury, or severed nerves from heat/laser damage would do nicely I think. Perhaps a particular organ is damaged and needs replaced with a vat-grown organ or cybernetic alternative, but the medic can set up a tech workaround to keep them trucking until that happens.

04-29-2019, 04:20 PM
On the damaged medical bay thing: The fight takes place off-ship.

04-30-2019, 08:28 AM
How good is the medical tech? Take any injury that would need hospitalization and make the tech work to fit the needs. For really advanced medical facilities, a severed leg might be a simple run through a body replication machine found on every ship carrying more than five crew members. Or it could be as simple as blood loss from a species with a rare blood type that isn't easily available on a small ship like they're on and where the plasma generated by bone marrow takes too long for recovery. It's sci-fi after all, anything could work.


04-30-2019, 08:31 AM
On the damaged medical bay thing: The fight takes place off-ship.

Failure of systems unrelated to fight, theft of medical supplies that leads to the fight, lots of ways past this. You're looking for something that can't be treated on the ship, it could be because of the type of injury or the abilities of the ship. A mine sweeper can't treat a heart attack but an aircraft carrier can.