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Injuries and the odds of recovery in a magical realism setting.:

 1 toalordsothe, Mon, 27th Sep '10 7:47:40 PM from Hell, Michigan
Not a Dong
In my story injuries are treated rather realistically, not even protagonists shrug off bullets.

So when a character suffers from some severe lacerations on most their body, and their only medical resources are a WW2 field doctor and any medical supplies he can macguyver together, realistically speaking what are the odds of being able to fight in roughly a months time.?
CAUSE EVERY GIRL IS CRAZY 'BOUT A SHARP DRESSED MAN
Shrike
Depends on what gets lacerated. If no major arteries are hit then it's possible he'd be back in action in two months. The thing is they don't just throw you back in as soon as your healed. They like to give you a little while to check for complications and guarantee you're healed.

edited 27th Sep '10 9:47:48 PM by Lockhart

Need to know about strange weapons, especially weird guns? I know em, and if i don't I'll find them.
 3 Madrugada, Mon, 27th Sep '10 10:37:23 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
So many variables —how many severe lacerations? where on his body? Is he goingto be able to not move for a while, to allow for undisturbed healing, or is he going to have to move the parts that got stitched up? Come to think of it, are we talking stitches or bandages-and-hope? Does he have someplace relatively warm and dry to recuperate, or is he still living in field conditions? How's his nutrition level during the healing?
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 4 Feo Takahari, Tue, 28th Sep '10 6:53:51 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Come to think of it, this reminds me of a question I had on a similar topic. I might as well ask it here.

Late at night, a woman either stumbles out of or is found in an alley in a large, contemporary city, covered in blood, not all of it hers. If still conscious, she's waving a bloody knife around, and while she's no longer dangerous, that's not entirely clear, and she's not currently rational enough to make it clear. She has taken at least one slash with a knife (I'm thinking of one across the bridge of her nose, just deep enough to leave a scar, but it's possible for her to have several in various places and for some of them to be quite ugly in appearance), and she has probably been punched several times as well, but she drove off her attackers, so if she passed out she did so after they were gone. She has no friends, her family gave up on her long ago, and only her landlord or the manager of the restaurant at which she waitresses would care if she went missing. She may or may not be carrying identification, but she probably isn't carrying any money. She's a frequent user of an inexpensive but low-quality hallucinogen (unidentified in the story, but taken orally), but she is not currently under its effects. It's a plot point that after this incident, and for the rest of the story, any injuries she sustains heal faster than is entirely natural. My goal is to have her wake up inside a building, under some form of treatment, and preferably to have her stay there for a few days while mysterious barriers spring up around the city and strange, dangerous things begin to happen.

edited 28th Sep '10 6:55:04 PM by FeoTakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 5 Madrugada, Tue, 28th Sep '10 9:50:29 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
So, what's your question?
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
 6 Feo Takahari, Tue, 28th Sep '10 10:06:04 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
My question is, how do I achieve that goal in a realistic fashion? I don't want to describe injuries that should have killed her outright, or injuries that shouldn't have hospitalized her, I don't want to describe her staying in the hospital longer than she should, I don't know whether and what sort of medical treatment she would receive, given that she has no money to pay for it, I don't know if she would then be sent to jail, to an asylum, or back out onto the street (I forgot to mention that she stays fairly out-of-it and insists on referring to herself as a "holy warrior") . . .
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
Shrike
Provided strange enough stuff was happening, and you have a trained doctor with supplies(or use the fact hospitals have Humanitarian Assistance protocols, basically they heal first, sate curiosity later.) deep gashes that don't hit a artery, lung, heart, stomach (intestines are a different story, you can be out in a few days for that) kidney, liver, or similar organs you can be up and walking in two weeks. Healing completely takes 6-12 weeks depending on the injury and complications. The less you move the less postoperative damage you'll have. People do odd things in odd situations.
Need to know about strange weapons, especially weird guns? I know em, and if i don't I'll find them.
 8 Feo Takahari, Tue, 28th Sep '10 11:49:38 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
That should be helpful enough. I think I can put together the rest.

Sorry I can't help the OP much, but I can at least say that your character might have access to penicillin.
That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 9 Madrugada, Tue, 28th Sep '10 11:59:34 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Oh. OK.

If she's found wandering in an alley, she'll wind up in the ER or the equivalent. They'll deal with the cuts there. The confusion and incoherence would be enough to get her checked into the hospital for a couple days of observation, at least, especially since there would be no one to release her to — hospitals are very wary of letting folks take off alone following a head injury. They usually want to be sure there's going to be someone at least checking in on her for a while.

If she hasn't started to make sense in a day or so, there would be serious concern about brain trauma — she could easily find herself under observation in a psych ward if MRIs/CAT scans show no sign of injury but she remains confused or incoherent. She also could wind up in a drug rehab ward, if the hallucinogen shows up in a blood test.

If any of the cuts did more than superficial damage to a large muscle, especially one of the ones necessary for walking or standing like the hamstring or quadriceps, they would want to keep her for a few days as well, to minimize her movement and decrease the chance of her re-damaging the muscle.

Who's going to pay for it depends on the politics and system of your world. In the US, the hospital must provide an established minimum level of care, regardless of her ability to pay. Beyond that level, they could bill her, or Medicaid, or the equivalent state department; they may have a disgressionary "charity fund" that they can pay for her care out of; or the hospital may simply eat the cost. If she's a particularly interesting case, or there's a doctor who is doing research on something that she could be a part of, that program might agree to cover her costs.
'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds like he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood!
For the OP:

As others said, we need to know more about where and how deep the lacerations are. If it's on the level of skinned knees, but on several different spots on the body, then it'll likely heal quickly - assuming no infection. If it's cuts that need stitches, they'll take a long time to heal - and if there person doesn't get stitches despite needing them, then the cuts might not heal at all. Just get that superficial gel-like covering that a cut that's just stopped bleeding has, and nothing better.

Two things about the 'all over the body' aspect. Firstly, two injuries of the same type take longer to heal than one, because they divide the body's resources. So each cut will heal much more slowly than it would if it was the only cut the person had.

Secondly, if enough of your skin is destroyed, that can cause really nasty problems itself. Skin is an organ, and it's actually essential for life. If you skinned a person, and ensured that they got no infection or subcutaneous injury, they would die anyway just from losing that skin. You might want to research burn victims - they can run into the 'lost too much skin' issue.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
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Total posts: 10
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