View Full Version : Tending an Unconscious Person

06-22-2007, 12:24 AM
In my fantasy WIP, one of the characters is put into a magical slumber. This is the flipside to MDavis's question since my character will be with people who know how to take care of her. What would they need to do?

Medieval/pre-industrial technology level, also they have magical healing. Storywise, I need her to be unconscious for at least three days, but I don't want her to suffer any ill-effects. Can an unconscious person take in sustenance, i.e. drink as a reflex action?

Thanks in advance.

06-22-2007, 12:26 AM
But wait. This is fantasy... "magical slumber" Your character should be able to hang out there indefinitely... in "stasis" as it were. Hey, Snow White did it.

Maybe post a guard to make sure no one dares disturb or bring harm to the character?

06-22-2007, 12:32 AM
Magical slumber, yes, but in a physical world. In essence her spirit is no longer in her body, but her body will die eventually if it's not cared for. I've got someone else in the story in a similar slumber who is being sustained by magic, but the character I'm asking about got hit by the spell accidentally so she doesn't have the same support system.

I'd like to find out about real/non-magical methods so I can add some verisimilitude. If necessary, I'll wave the magic wand to cover anything lacking.

06-22-2007, 02:12 AM
Since it's your magical slumber, you can put the 'sleep' state at any level you want to.

She can be so deeply unconscious she has no 'swallow reflex',
or she can drift in and out of a semiconscious state where she mumbles in her sleep and takes water off a spoon put to her lips,
or anything in between.

Your call.

In old fashioned nursing a really sick person would have little tiny bits of fluid -- we're talking less than a quarter teaspoon -- dribbled into her mouth. She'd swallow reflexively.
Somebody sits next to the bed and does this very very slowly just about continually.

What you want to give her is something like this oral rehydration forumla --

teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces orange juice
Dilute to 1 liter with water
Fluids may be given at rates of 50 mL/kg/24 h to 200 mL/kg/ 24 h depending on the patient’s hydration status.

This will keep an adult alive for a couple days.
Longer than that and you need to switch to chicken soup.

Remember -- in nursing terms -- that the fluid that goes in is also going to come out.