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Hey,

I've got three characters in my book who have been in an accident and have injuries. For plot reasons, I know how bad their injuries are but I'm looking for help figuring out exactly what the injuries could be for how long they have to be in the hospital, etc.

Is anyone a doctor or nurse or have a lot of knowledge in this area? Could I email you offline?

Thanks very much.
#1 - September 16, 2013, 04:26 PM
Samantha M Clark
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THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster)

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Oh, and another thing I need to figure out, on a more technical side, is something that could stand in for a patient with heart monitors, i.e. a patient is moved and the heart monitors need to show that he's still there. Do CPR dolls have heart beats that could be picked up by a monitor?

Thanks again!
#2 - September 16, 2013, 04:28 PM
Samantha M Clark
http://SamanthaMClark.com
THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster)

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CPR dummies don't have heart beats. The dummies they use in nursing schools (as fake patients) don't have heart beats, blood circulation, etc. either, but the computer generates situations for the students. So for ex., the instructor might program in someone to have bradycardia, so the monitor shows the appropriate monitor readings--but nothing's really going on with the dummy.

If I were going to stage a hospital break and had to keep my monitor going, I'd a) hook it up to the comatose guy in the next bed, or b) find a broken one. Maybe your pt. overheard a nurse complaining about the malfunctioning unit, which she then put in the hallway with the cord wrapped around it. Your pt. could snag it and substitute it for his/her own monitor.

Hope that helps.
#3 - September 16, 2013, 05:11 PM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
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Not technical help, but if I wanted to escape from ICU, I'd turn off the alarm while the monitor tech is flirting with a nurse. (Don't forget, the patient on a monitor would have an IV.)
#4 - September 16, 2013, 06:25 PM
PAINLESS (Albert Whitman 2015)
BLOOD BROTHERS (Delacorte 2007)

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I worked ICU for years. It would be hard to escape from an ICU where the patient is seen/sensed with many eyes and machines plus the admission policy invariably indicates that the patient is sick enough to warrant being there. Maybe if it was a really crappy unit, but more mistakes happen in emergency rooms. 

A lot of stuff happens in ERs...nightmarish...yikes. My policy is never leave a loved one alone in an ER. After an auto accident I lay in a ER room with only a curtain pulled around the bed. I was strapped to a back board wearing a neck brace totally at the mercy of all when someone crawled under the curtain. I sensed movement, and I yelled, "What the h*!! are you doing?"  A man stood and sheepishly asked, "Can I have this chair?" He scared me half to death. I thought I was about to be sexually assaulted.

 Slapping the electrodes on another patient might work if it was an open ER unit with  curtains. Monitors are usually attached to walls. A big distraction such as a patient crashing (or multiple patients) at one time or the arrival of  many victims from a crisis (explosion/multiple car accident) might give the opportunity to escape.

The tv show ER was very realistic, and I used to watch it to see if they would make mistakes. Their protocols were very good. You could watch an episode and plot your MC's escape. Another suggestion is to talk also to an ER physician (specialist) from a local hospital to get real info of length of stays and treatment. Good luck...fun stuff. Really. I love it.  :fireworks


#5 - September 17, 2013, 04:58 AM

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Oh, I was visualizing a pt. trying to escape from a room on the floor, not from ICU or the ED. Yeah, it would be impossible to escape from ICU. If the pt. is on the floor, though (in a regular room), they wouldn't necessarily be hooked up to an IV while they're on a cardiac monitor. They'd be using one of those freestanding wheeled cardiac monitors (like the traveling BP stands) to keep track of heart rate. It would be plugged into the wall, but not part of the wall.

But that would be after your pt. has started his/her stint at the hospital.

If it's a grab-and-run, and you don't need to escape detection for long, you could simply stage a diversion in an ED (emergency dep't)--easy enough to do--and take off. You could even hijack an ambulance--the ambulance bay would open directly into the ED.

This is fun. Now I want to break out of a hospital.  :jail
#6 - September 17, 2013, 06:56 AM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
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If they're just wearing a pulseOx, which is the thing that they clip onto your finger that reads your pulse and blood oxygen saturation, AND if they aren't a critical patient who needs to be monitored closely, they probably can just take it off. I've been in ER's a few times where I ended up taking them off, lol - and no one really cared. They didn't even comment as far as I can recall. If it's busy and their injuries don't really affect heart/blood/breathing, you're okay.
#7 - September 17, 2013, 07:32 AM
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 07:36 AM by Lwrites »

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