After the battle — or The Chase, or many other dramatic situations — many characters may be injured. Seriously. Merely defeating the foe doesn't mean you aren't in danger of your life; now your companions must rush to treat your injuries, or rush you to The Medic or Applied Phlebotinum, or possibly compound or even devise a cure for what you've got.
This can be continuous with the battle — or even overlap with it, with some character having to drop out to prevent another from bleeding to death on the spot. It can also happen after a breather, with a Post-Victory Collapse or Mortal Wound Reveal.
It is always a Matter of Life and Death and so as dramatic as whatever caused the injuries. Success is not assured. If nobody else is around to treat you, you may be in the unenviable position of performing Self-Surgery.
Compare After-Action Patch-Up, in which the lack of danger means the treatment is an Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene. Compare Heal It With Fire and Wound That Will Not Heal.
- This is the subject of Made in Abyss's first Wham Episode. After Riko's hand gets impaled by a giant poison porcupine and she gets hit with a "curse" that causes severe bleeding, an agonizingly long scene of drama and amateur surgery ensues. She is saved thanks to the timely intervention of someone with medical knowledge, but she doesn't regain consciousness until two episodes later.
- Pandemonium Wizard Village: Molte is presumed to have died when Crain shot her. However, once him and his men leave in shame, Malsus discovers she's still alive, but in dire need of medical attention. In the end, he's able to successfully save her.
- The first season of Pokémon: The Original Series used this trope quite a lot, such as when Ash first meets Charmander and when Pikachu needs medicinal attention after getting mobbed by Spearows in the first episode. As the seasons went by, depictions of Pokémon sustaining very serious injuries became less common, causing this trope to be used less frequently than it once did.
- After the final battle in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, an injured Jotaro orders medics to pump Dio's blood back into Joseph's body, as to bring him back to life.
- An entire issue of the Batman: Contagion stroyline was dedicated to Tim Drake being treated for the Clench in the Batcave's medbay following a riot during which he was infected. Dick tries and fails to get Tim to call his father before he loses lucidity and Alfred considered himself to be treating the boy on his deathbed as there was no known cure and very few known survivors.
- In a What If? story, Doctor Doom mind-controlled Mr. Fantastic to get him to attack the Fantastic Four; though he broke free, he was badly injured. His lab assistant Lysette kept him alive while urging them to fly the faster to the hospital.
- In Legion of Super-Heroes, Mon-el, Ultra Boy, and the White Witch found Dev-em prisoner and dying of kryptonite poisoning. They swept in to seize him and bolted off with him — Ultra Boy nearly panicking because he could not find a pulse — and back to their starship, where Mon-el set the machinery to cure him.
- When Rogue had just joined the X-Men, she was mortally wounded fighting next to Wolverine, saving his fiancee. Wolverine compelled her to absorb his healing powers to save her life.
- The Fatal Attractions (Marvel Comics) crossover climaxes in a confrontation with Magneto, where Magneto rips out the adamantium bonded to Wolverine's skeleton. The final issue (Wolverine #75) is concerned primarily with the team trying to keep Wolverine alive and stabilize him. The trauma was so severe that Wolverine's Healing Factor effectively "gave out" after he was stable, and took months to start working again.
- The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): After Steve Trevor's crash on Themyscira, and Diana fleeing with him to save him at the behest of her mentor Alcippe who stayed behind to fight the traitors that drew him to the island Diana has to tend to his wounds without a full understanding of just who all has turned traitor or why or whether they are close to finding them.
- The Mega Man (Archie Comics) "Unplugged" story immediately following Ra Moon's defeat had Mega Man in critical condition after overloading his systems, and the doctors working round-the-clock to save him.
- Advice and Trust: Several such scenes happen right after a battle, involving an injured character:
- Shinji and Rei keep watch over Asuka after she nearly got killed when when she fought Leliel.
- During the battle against Zeruel, Ritsuko is knocked unconscious by falling debris. After the battle, Maya spent the whole day waiting for her to wake up, and Misato visited afterwards.
- After extracting Hikari from her Unit-03, Shinji and Asuka sat down by her side until she woke up. Touji also visited her.
- Again, Ritsuko was hurt and put in a hospital bed, this time when Unit-00 went berserker. Rei talked with her while Ritsuko was still resting, and Maya took care of her after Rei left.
- Between Minds puts aside a scene for a surgeon to piece together Sam's foot and explain how Half-Life medkits work.
- In Bird arc three opens with a Taylor resting in the infirmary, she has to rest and recuperate following her narrow escape from Hatchetface.
- In Catch Your Breath, after they separate Black Zetsu from him, Rin and Kei, with Katsuyu's help, have to heal Obito so he doesn't die on the spot from having his chakra network shredded.
- In Chasing the Shadow, the aftermath of the Zabuza fight scene includes both him and Kakashi requiring serious emergency treatment.
- Children of an Elder God: The beginning of the nineteenth chapter features Asuka and Rei having been taken to the hospital to be healed after getting brutally hurt by the latest Eldritch Abomination that they had fought.
- In almost every Death Note fanfic where the topic of Mello's burn scar comes up (especially those of the Yaoi variety), the one who treated the burn was Matt, and in their dingy little apartment, no less! In spite of the fact that Matt is not known to have any medical training, although considering that he did study at Wammy's House, it is possible that he has at least some. (He usually doesn't have any medical knowledge in these fics, though.) Very often in these fics, not only does Matt treat Mello's burn wound, he also is the one to dig Mello out of the rubble from the explosion. (Usually, though not always, coming out unscathed himself.) Rarely, Matt gets him to some Back-Alley Doctor. Somewhat justified in that there's no way Mello could have gone to a regular hospital under the circumstances, as a fugitive from the law.
- In Evangelion 303, after Unit-04 crashed, Misato drove Shinji to the hospital. Shinji kept watch over Asuka while NERV's higher-ups tried to figure out what had happened to her.
- Extra Life opens with Chiaki lying on the brink of death and Izuru rushing to save her. He manages to, but she's left in a coma and doesn't wake up for another eight months.
- After the final battle in Power Girl fanfic A Force of Four, Kara collapses, hurt and worn-out. The Amazons take her to their Island and watch over her until Kara is up and about.
- In Gold Poisons, a vengeful Jin Guangshan stabs Jin Guangyao immediately after the trial, kicking one of these off. Thankfully, Guangyao pulls through, though as the epilogue shows he'll need some time to heal.
- In I Did Not Want To Die, this trope is subverted because it's a mortal wound and it occurs in a break in the action.
- In the second version of Last Child of Krypton, Shinji gets badly wounded after a battle, and he hides in Misato’s apartment. Misato and Asuka find him and try to heal him behind Gendo’s back.
- After Taylor is nearly killed after killing Behemoth in The Last Daughter, Legend and Amy work together to heal her with yellow sunlight.
- In the Fanfic My Little Denarians Rainbow Dash gets trampled by Magog during a fight in Star Wars universe and suffers fatal internal injuries. The team has to transport her between realities to find one where Narrative Causality will give her sufficient Plot Armor to survive.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide:
- The story starts out with Shinji keeping watch over a comatose Asuka after the battle against Tabris.
- In chapter 6, Rei is seriously messed up when she makes mental contact with an Angel during a battle with an Angel.
- In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, during the Bardiel fight, Rei sacrifices herself and EVA-00. She is resurrected in a new clone body, but doesn't remember anything. And what she does remember is fragmentary and contradictory, as the part of her soul that was in EVA-00 has also come back to her. And the new soul parts cause her to act impulsively and wildly. For a while, Rei is an almost catatonic person barely recognizing Shinji and Asuka, who have already fallen in love with her, which causes great distress to them both.
- And once again after the Arael fight. Shinji had been hit with the Mind Rape, and now he thinks everyone will abandon him and he will end up lonely again. Only constant physical contact to Asuka or Rei reminds him they are still there and haven't and maybe won't leave him.
- The Portal has Blizzard get stabbed by Zobek's tail and brought to the infirmary. The good news is that Blizzard doesn't die from his injuries. The bad news is that he has now been infected with Zobek's power which will slowly turn him into a Dark One.
- The Second Try gives several examples:
- In the first chapter, Asuka goes into Shinji's hospital room after the battle against Leliel. She slaps him for worrying her and then gives him a “welcome back” kiss.
- The whole second chapter consists in Shinji and Asuka beginning to recover from their wounds after the Final Battle and the end of the world.
- When they managed to get Shinji out of Unit-01, Asuka kept watch over her husband until he came round.
- After the Final Battle Shinji meets Asuka in the sickbay and both get ready to mourn Aki openly.
- In Shatterheart when Kurogane suffers from serious injuries from his battle with King Ashura and cutting off his own arm, the group has to race to Shirasagi Castle to get him medical treatment.
- This Bites!:
- At the climax of the Enies Lobby arc, they manage to give Going Merry the ability to heal from otherwise-fatal injuries by using a Devil Fruit to turn her human. But that ability only enables healing at a natural rate; the life-threatening injuries are still there and in urgent need of treatment, prompting an emergency surgery.
- At the climax of Thriller Bark, while most everyone is patched up easily (albeit leaving Chopper exhausted) both Zoro and Nami are close to death after dealing with Kuma's price as well as everything that Moria dished out. Chopper has to chug a stimulant that will leave him unconscious for days after it wears off in order to treat them fast enough.
- In Thousand Shinji, Rei got injured during the battle against Ramiel. After destroying the monster, Shinji got Rei out of her giant robot and made sure that she got hospitalized.
- XCOM: From the Ashes of Temples: A During-Action variant. An XCOM medic performs life-saving field surgery on a downed VIP in the middle of a terror mission infested with chryssalids while the other team members keep the X-rays off them.
- Chapter 9 of Harry Potter And The Rune Stone Path has a downplayed version with serious but not immediately life-threatening injuries. Madam Pomphrey the school nurse takes a few members of staff to meet the rescuers and rescuee at the exit of the Chamber of Secrets. There, she starts treatment of multiple cuts and abrasions, physical and magical exhaustion, spiritual draining, and blunt force groin trauma. A couple of minutes later, she moves everybody to the infirmary and finishes treatment there. There's nothing she can do for Gilderoy Lockhart's lost memory.
- Maybe the Last Archie Story: As rescuing Sabrina's aunts, Moose gets stabbed by their kidnapper's henchman. After taking the thug out, Sabrina's aunts cast a spell to stabilize Moose as Jughead pressed his sweater over his wound to keep him from bleeding to death. The police and an ambulance were called, and the paramedics packed Moose off to the nearest hospital.
- SV Wishes:
- When Shen Qingqiu is nearly fatally poisoned with Without A Cure, Yue Qingyuan is reminded how close he was to losing him permanently after a rocky relationship. Liu Qingge loses his untested confidence in his strength after nearly losing his friend which resolves into constant vigilance.
- Shen Qingqiu tries to fight off Mobei Jun to prevent him kidnapping his apprentice and is impaled in the chest with an icicle for his trouble. He managed to be saved thanks to the quick intervention of several medical cultivators in the end of the disastrous tournament. While Shen Qingqiu was absolved of the accusations of being responsible for the disaster, he fell apart emotionally due to believing his apprentice who was his Living Emotional Crutch and Only Friend was dead.
- In '71, Eamon and Brigid take Gary to their flat to treat his injuries. Brigid has to hold him down while Eamon stitches his wound.
- In Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, when Li Mubai is poisoned, Jen races to produce the antidote. She arrives too late.
- El Gringo have the Man being bandaged by Anna after a shootout while suffering a gunshot wound in one arm. Since there isn't a medical kit nearby, Anna have to use her bra and panties as an improvised tourniquet and bandage, leading to this line from the Man:
"It's almost worth getting shot!"
- Katniss trying to heal Peeta's wounds in The Hunger Games after Cato stabbed him with a sword.
- In Mad Max: Fury Road, after the Final Battle, Max does his utmost to keep Furiosa alive. He pierces her side to re-inflate the lungs and gives her a blood transfusion. He also decides to eventually tell her his name.
- RoboCop (1987), after Murphy is shot up in an infamously gory scene, he's wheeled into an emergency room, fading to death as they try to revive him.
- T-4 Medic Wade in Saving Private Ryan was shot in the stomach, and the rest of his team tried to treat him.
- In Steps Trodden Black, the third act of the movie takes place after the monster has already been beaten. The drama comes from trying to save the people it already killed.
- In True Grit, after the bad guys are killed, Rooster Cogburn rushes Mattie back to civilisation to treat her snake bite.
- In Richard Ellis Preston Jr.'s Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin novel Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War, after their encounter with the sabretooth beasties, Romulus has to carry Max off, find shelter, and treat her injuries.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Thieves, Thena rushes Kit off to Doctor Bartholemeu after Joseph tries to kill him. Given that she doesn't know the way there, and Kit can only communicate it telepathically, it gets difficult.
- Used in Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Sure, Nick managed to trap the demon attacking them and broker safe passage to the church, but Rachel still has a gaping vampire bite in her neck that needs immediate attention. Thankfully, she has a knack of picking up the most useful friends...
- Late in Deryni Rising, Morgan is injured while fighting a traditional sword duel as King's Champion, defending Kelson's right to be crowned King Of Gwynedd. While Kelson personally fights an arcane duel against Charissa to resolve the issue, Alaric asks Duncan to help him Heal himself. It's only the second time Morgan has ever done it, and he's lost some blood, while Duncan has never even tried to Heal before and doesn't know if he can do it at all.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Cold Days, after the ambush in the Botanical Gardens, Harry gets rushed off for treatment by his friends.
- Near the end of Therin Knite's Echoes, medics inject Adem with an unspecified drug concoction to force him to wake up from an echo he's trapped in. He immediately has a heart attack as a result of the drugs and has to be rushed to the hospital.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo has to be rushed to Rivendell after an injury sustained at Weathertop threatens to turn him into a wraith if he's not treated soon and properly at Elrond's house.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts:
- "Iron Star" is all about Curth and Dorden's fight to save Gaunt — told almost entirely from Gaunt's point of view, meaning he has only minimal awareness of reality in the midst of a dream.
- In Salvation's Reach, Dorden is afraid they are unable to save Cant's life, because removing the garotte will release the pressure that was holding the blood in the artery. Kolding thinks of a means, and they labor for hours, succeeding.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron's arm is severely injured in the escape from the Ministry. Hermione desperately treats it.
- In Heart of Steel, Cyborg Alistair is gravely injured in a battle with Julia's crazy ex-boyfriend-turned-rival-cyborg, forcing Julia to call upon both her ER training to tend to his biological injuries and the local robots to repair the damage to his cybernetic implants, while trying to get someplace safe.
- In The Hunger Games when Katniss finds Peeta in the arena he has been stabbed badly by Cato and lying in by a river camouflaged with mud hasn't done wonders to prevent infection. She does what she can to help him but it's obvious to both of them that without medicine he's not going to make it. So she risks herself to get the medicine.
- In Hurog, Ward is called to a surprise guest, who arrived on his land after fleeing from enemies. While, due to Healing Hands, life is not at stake, there is a hand in grave danger.
- In Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, Ash is seriously wounded before Meghan works out how to remove Virus's bug and stop its mind control. Puck insists on getting him to the healer.
- Averted in The Leonard Regime. Brandon at first appears to have taken a critical hit, but it later turns out it only grazed his skin and he passed out from fright.
- Downplayed in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Edmund lies gravely wounded after the climactic battle, but Lucy saves him with her healing cordial quickly and with a minimum of angst. Played straighter in the 2005 film version, which drags the scene out a bit longer and gives him a brief Disney Death.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Monster Men, Bulan collapses after days of sleeplessness and hunger, and Virginia must nurse him through the fever.
- In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels:
- A Local Habitation, after Toby just barely gets Quentin out of the way of being shot and killed, he still takes a bullet and they have to rush for this. Later, when Toby confronts Gordan, she has to worry about Eliot bleeding out in the meanwhile. Subverted there; April bound his wounds during the fight.
- Ashes of Honor, what appears to be an After-Action Patch-Up transforms when Tybalt collapses. Toby has to rush to arrange for the healer to be brought in — and allowed in by the magic.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, he comments that the women of Mars have effectively prevented these:
Bleeding and weak I reached my women, who, accustomed to such happenings, dressed my wounds, applying the wonderful healing and remedial agents which make only the most instantaneous of death blows fatal. Give a Martian woman a chance and death must take a back seat. They soon had me patched up so that, except for weakness from loss of blood and a little soreness around the wound, I suffered no great distress from this thrust which, under earthly treatment, undoubtedly would have put me flat on my back for days.
- In Patricia A. McKillip's The Riddle-Master of Hed, the voiceless Morgan is attacked on the plain by apparent merchants; Astrin hauls him back to his cottage, threatens off another merchant, and brings in an old woman to treat his serious wounds.
- In Charles de Lint's Seven Wild Sisters, when Sarah Jane first sees one of The Fair Folk, she has to pull out the poisoned arrows he was shot with, and then bring him to Aunt Lillian for more treatment.
- In Tristan and Iseult, Tristan is bedridden from Morholt's poisoned spear, and nobody in the court can figure out an antidote.
- In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Hammer & Anvil, Verity cites the possibility of this as a reason to keep her near the scenes of danger.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "T.A.H.I.T.I", Team Coulson must get the GH.325 serum to Skye before her gun shot wounds kill her.
- Angel, "A Hole in the World", where the team races to save Fred after Illyria infects her, ultimately failing.
- In a first-season episode of The Blacklist, this occurs MID-action when Red and a badly injured Ressler are trapped in a transparent cell together, with the enemy - visibly to them - trying to get in throughout the episode. Red then must use the limited resources available inside the cell to keep Ressler alive.
- In the seventh episode of the first season Breaking Bad, after Tuco has delivered a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to an unwise subordinate, said subordinate gets dragged into a car to sleep it off. The next episode picks up and continues that scene, where the car comes roaring back up to Walt and Jesse with Tuco jumping out and demanding that Walt do something, "because you're smart!" as the subordinate is in bloody convulsions. Walt tries some CPR, only for reality to ensue.
- CSI: NY:
- In the season 2 finale, "Charge of this Post," Mac, Flack and an office worker are trapped when a bomb goes off. Flack has a very serious injury to his abdomen and Mac uses the other man's shoestring to tie off a profusely bleeding artery. He then tears strips from his own shirt to staunch even more bleeding.
- In episode 5.02, "Page Turner," the gang had to race to find out exactly what type of radioactive substance had caused two people to die and the coroner, Sid, to collapse, so they could tell the doctors what to do to treat him.
- Interview with the Vampire (2022): While Louis de Pointe du Lac is recovering after being horrendously battered by his boyfriend Lestat de Lioncourt, Claudia remains at his side to care for him instead of travelling to Europe like she had originally planned. Louis is so grievously injured that he can't even feed himself, so without her, he would've died of starvation.
Louis: A few shattered vertebrae, a punctured lung... blind in one eye for five weeks. Two months, was it? [...] Excruciating pain was the proof I was still alive. [...] [Claudia] dedicated all her energy to my rehabilitation.
- This is essentially the point of a M*A*S*H Unit - get the wounded to a doctor who can patch him up as quickly as possible. And they get the patients from Battalion Aid, which is even closer to the front lines.
- Merlin (2008): In "Le Morte D'Arthur," Merlin must race to find a solution for Arthur's mortal injury from the Questing Beast, which can't be cured by normal means. And there's "The Poisoned Chalice," where Arthur races to find an antidote for the poisoned Merlin. Much later, there's a try-and-fail with Arthur and Merlin trying to save the dying Uther in "The Wicked Day."
- Wonder Woman (1975): In "Judgement from Outer Space," Wonder Woman is hit full force with a poison grenade. The following scenes show her in a hospital fighting off the poison and dramatically going out to find the alien spaceship even though she is still woozy and debilitated from the poison.
- In Rudyard Kipling's "The Married Man", contrasting the fighting of the bachelor and the married man, he observes that the married man is best for saving your life in this.
The bachelor may risk 'is 'ide
To 'elp you when you're downed;
But the married man will wait beside
Till the ambulance comes round.
'E'll take your 'ome address
An' all you've time to say,
Or if 'e sees there's 'ope, 'e'll press
Your art'ry 'alf the day
- In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, an altercation with the gang leader turned vampire Daigo leads to Carlie getting shot in the abdomen by friendly fire. Hyeon then has to pick her up and carry her away from the battle and to the roof, where they have to perform some immediate patch-up to stop her from bleeding out.
- Deadlands had these scenes virtually built in to the ruleset: a lasting injury—however minor—could only be conventionally treated in the "golden hour" after it occurred, often leading to a mad scramble after a fight. It was also absurdly easy to bleed out—a Time-Delayed Death, but with more fainting—virtually guaranteeing that at some point, one member of the posse would have to drop out of combat to patch up one of their teammates.
- Happens to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4 after his first fight with Vamp. Since he's a Cyborg who doesn't have kidneys, he begins suffering from severe lactic acidosis and would have died if dialysis equipment hadn't been procured in time.
- In World of Warcraft, the Pandaren starting zone is a giant turtle island. Near the end, you have to remove a ship that has crashed into and pierced its flesh... by blowing it up, which leaves a huge bleeding wound. The next quest is to protect a bunch of healers who are trying to heal the wound before it dies and sinks.
- In Doc Rat, after Flopsy stops the runaway cart.
- In Dragon Mango,
- In Girl Genius:
- Gil collapses after he stands off the attackers, and the jaegers get him to Mama Gkika's. This at first appears to be just sneaking about, but there we learn that Mama resorted to some heavy duty medicine to save and revive him.
- Resplendent Immolation, caught from invading the Castle or more likely an assassination attempt on Tarvek, leads to a truly epic arc involving curing no less than three people before they explode.
- After Captain Hawkins, some Smoke Knights, Martellus's spark hounds and his chief assassin and Gil and Bang have a battle over Tarvek, with Martellus's faction trying to assassinate him, Gil patches up Tarvek from his many poisoned knife wounds.
- In Impure Blood, rescuing Elnor from the mob leads to rushing her inside and frantically trying to stop the bleeding.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! — While Bob routinely gets banged up with Amusing Injuries, during the Cone Ship story arc, he really does get seriously hurt and almost dies from it. We see his life flashing before his eyes as Jean desperately tries to keep him from bleeding to death. Alien phlebotinum eventually heals him back to normal, but he's much more rattled than usual once he gets back to Earth.
- In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, catching the assassin and prying her symbiotes off her ends with the order to Rasheed to get them to the hospital and floor it.
- The Silver Eye: After Axeman's thrown in the river, Noah has to fix Enel's stab-wound while the rest of the crew tries to navigate their way out of the docks before the Raritan fleet catches up.
- In Tales of the Questor, Squidge resorts to biting to rouse him and heckles him along since he can only help, not carry him, to get him to help before he bleeds to death.
- Happens in Weak Hero after the middle school fight with Donald Na. Ben, who was only keeping himself conscious through pure instinct, collapses after Donald leaves. His arm's bleeding severely, so Alex has to give him an impromptu tourniquet and then carry him all the way to the hospital.
- Dreamscape: After Vampire Lord goes overboard in his match with Keela in episode 3, and with Melissa and her Healing Hands nowhere in sight at the time, Keela is sent to the hospital. Vampire Lord and his friends pay a visit to her in episode 5.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In the two-part story consisting of "Jedi Crash" and "Defenders of Peace" Anakin gets badly wounded and knocked unconscious while helping evacuate Aayla Secura's overrun position. He's placed on life support for two days while the ship they flee in is stuck in hyperspace due to damage to the hyperdrive, and when they have to shut down power in order to prevent a catastrophic run-in with a star and crash on a nearby planet he remains unconscious and even after treatment from a local doesn't fully recover his strength.