Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

Entries by tag: ~medicine: historical

How to survive a plane crash?
Situation: Someone about to get onto a plane (circa 1990 or thereabouts) has been accidentally informed ahead of time that said plane is going to crash, because of complicated time travel shenanigans. She is now on her own. The plane has to crash for the sake of keeping history intact. Originally, she was supposed to have died with it - there were no survivors found.

If she wants to survive, while not changing history (i.e. to be presumed dead when actually not), what are her options, making use of knowledge (both medical and flight-safety related) that would be available in ~2013 but was not available ~1990?

No country of setting is explicitly specified; any generic English-speaking country would be ok.

- If she does get onto the plane and it goes down, is there any crucial bit of 2013 information that might save her life and hers alone, and/or allow her to get away unnoticed?
- Alternatively, would it be possible for her to not get on the plane after getting her boarding pass stamped? (basically after her presence was confirmed on the flight manifest.) It would seem that security wouldn't let people randomly get out, but I'm not that familiar with how airports worked, and airport security in the 1990s was definitely more slack than it is today.

Research done so far: googling 'how to survive a plane crash', which got me some helpful tips if I ever get in a crash, but nothing that helps in this situation; I also googled variations of flight safety changes since 1990, but it's mostly irrelevant stuff about the TSA and terrorism.


A doctor's career in the UK (1920s through 1940s)
I'm writing a story set in England that includes several doctors and medical students as characters. The older character would have started her medical training in 1926 or so, while the younger ones are still in medical school in 1940.

I've done a fair amount of searching for "doctor training interwar" and the like, but though I can find information about the situation in the UK today, I know that things have changed a fair bit over time. What I am hoping to find is a simple timeline giving the various stages of a doctor's career, along with some idea about how this varies according to specialisation. The questions in my mind include:

How many years in medical school, and did this vary depending on whether you started as an undergraduate or after your undergrad degree?
What responsibilities might a medical student have during WWII? I get the impression from canon that they were allowed to do more than they are today, but I'm not sure how much more.
How many years as a houseman (which seems to be the term in use at the time)?
What then? Could you become a GP straight off or was there further training?
What if you were becoming a surgeon?
At what point in one's career would/could one become an FRCS?

Any additional detail about medical training in this period would be very welcome, as would information/resources about the experiences of female doctors.

(For those who are curious, my main character canonically was a house surgeon specialising in neurosurgery, aspired to a post as assistant to a chest surgeon, was passed over, and when the novel opens in 1937 she has become a GP instead but also does a rotation in a local cottage hospital and considers herself a "general surgeon". The author was a nurse during these years so I presume the career path was possible but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the structure of it.)


Victorian-ish virginity tests
fairy tales
Can anyone tell me or point me to a resource on how a doctor or healer would have checked for virginity during the Victorian era? Preferably not by just checking for a hymen, which is the big thing my research is indicating so far. There's mention of checking for scarring, but I don't know if there's anything else that could be checked for.

This is for a alternate-world-fantasy, with a semi-Victorianesque setting. I could fudge it a bit - their technology is based on an energy that's a cross between magic and electricity.The examiner is more of a scientist than a medical doctor, but he's probably the closest thing to a healer on the pirate ship, and has dealt with prostitutes in the past, so I'd like to think he wouldn't just rely of the presence or absence of a hymen. Although, that's probably what anyone else on the ship would check for. The character whose virginity is in question is a virgin but has probably broken her hymen from some activity or other - she fences a lot, for a start.

Honestly, the exam itself probably wouldn't show up in the book, but I'd like to have a good idea of what the examiner would realistically be looking for and what he would find.

Prior research: Basic Google search for "checking for virginity victorian" and "victorian virginity test," Wikipedia "virginity test"

I need your help once again, amazing people. This time, on poison.
Hello, guys!

As a crime writer, I often find myself roaming around the medicine tags in this comm. Alas, it's been extremely helpful most of the time, but since this question is rather open/specific (whichever way you'd like to view it) and I know the names of these substances on Spanish and not in English, I'm afraid I might need some extra help.

In any case.

Blahs and poisonCollapse )

Thanks in advance!

[ANON POST] What Is The Best Way To Slit Someone's Throat? Early Medieval Setting
Slightly creepy question that makes me wonder what someone would make of my google history: what is the best way to slit someone's throat? Preferably without getting drenched in blood?

The setting is early middle ages, and the person being killed is not an enemy but a friend facing an inevitable long, slow death - the slit throat is intended as a mercy kill (incidentally, is there another more reliable/quicker/less painful/generally better way of ending someone's life with a sharp blade? Perhaps a severed cervical spine/brain stem? And if so, what's the best way to accomplish that?). From what I can gather, the best way of doing it is to stand behind and cut hard and deep enough to sever both carotid arteries, which aren't as close to the surface as the jugular but bleed out much faster. I'm not a doctor or an assassin, though, so I may be wrong. Also, how much force/how sharp of a blade does it actually require to cut really deep like that? How fast does death come? Is there another more reliable/quicker/less painful/generally better way of ending someone's life with a sharp blade (perhaps a severed cervical spine/brain stem)? And if so, what's the best way to accomplish that?

Search terms include "severed carotid arteries," "how to slit a throat," "best way to slit a throat," "slit throat forensics." I also found the youtube video of Clint Malarchuk getting his throat cut by a hockey skate, which is not for the faint of heart (although he survived, thank goodness).

Medieval Medicine/Historical Medical Practice On Injuries And Disease
Hello, I'm writing a fantasy story. The setting is roughly equivalent of 13th/14th century Europe. One of the main characters is training to become a doctor at the beginning of the story. I need information on how the physicians at the time treated numerous types of wounds and diseases.

Searched Terms: Medieval Medicine, Western Medicine, 14th Century Medicine, Historical Medicine, 14th Century Doctor, Middle Ages Burn Treatment, History of Burn Treatments.

I've googled the above, most of the results were decent for general knowledge, but none have gone into the detail that I am looking for. I've also ran a few of the above searches through some research databases that my University has allowed me access to. I've also tried finding translations of "The Canon of Medicine", whoever I couldn't understand the wording, as most of the translations I found were either incomplete, poorly worded, or too expensive for me to currently afford.

I've been trying to find detailed information on what tools an educated doctor/barber of the time would use and how he would treat sword wounds, broken bones (From both Abbrazare/grappling and blunt weapons), burns of varying severity, arrows, frostbite, poison and so on.

I'd also like to know how they treated common diseases, dehydration and starvation at the time and so on.

Here's an example of what I'm looking for, although I'm not sure how accurate this example is: I have read that if someone was burned they would rinse the burned area and then pour raw honey over it. After that they would wrap sage leaves around the honey-covered burn. Apparently the honey acted as a shield against infection and the sage was believed to have healing/soothing properties for wounds. I would provide a link to the source but I can't seem to find the link in my notes.

I realize this is somewhat of a messy post but any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

[ANON POST] Swords and major hand injuries
music, serious face
Hello wonderful Little Details community. I'm writing a story set roughly in Dark Age Europe (ish). In a desperate situation, a fellow very unfortunately shoves a sword blade aside with his off hand and manages to slice his palm open right down to the bone. I'm assuming this will cause some major and quite possibly irreparable damage to the nerves/muscles/tendons of the hand, but I want to make sure I get the details at least mostly right, and my hand anatomy is a little sketchy. A few questions:

1. Is this even remotely plausible? I'm pretty sure there's no way that someone could stop a full-speed sword slash without kissing goodbye to their hand, but if the sword is at a point where it doesn't have much momentum - say, the swing's been completed and the character reaches out and shoves it away before it can reverse direction - is this a conceivable scenario?

2. What's going to happen to his hand (right away)? It seems likely that he would catch the majority of the damage on the outside/pinkie side of his palm. I think I'm correct in saying that this would cause some serious problems for the ulnar nerve and the fourth/fifth fingers of the hand, but what kind of problems and exactly how serious? Will he be able to feel anything at all? Will he be able to move it? What about his other fingers? What about his wrist and arm? How quickly (if at all) is there going to be a major bloodloss/shock problem? Are bones likely to break, or are we mainly just talking slashing damage?

3. What's going to happen long-term? Hands are fiddly things - I know it will never be fully functional after that sort of injury, but exactly how non-functional is it likely to be? Will he be able to pick things up? Bend his fingers? If he loses feeling, will feeling come back a little, a lot, or not at all? How long would that sort of thing take to heal - both the serious deep-tissue and nerve damage and the more superficial skin-starting-to-knit-back-together sort of healing? Are there other complications that I might be overlooking?

I know infection would be a major, major concern, but I feel pretty confident in my ability to get that right. It's the physical damage itself that I'm not so sure about.

Electrocardiography in the 1940s
Asami, Viewfinder, Akihito
I've wiki-ed this, and I've read what I could find regarding electrocardiography's history on:

I think the problem doesn't lie in those sites, it probably lies in me. There were some rather technical terms here, and I think I didn't understand half of it, and I wasn't able to competently visualize how the ECG works in the 1940s.

In the piece I'm currently working on, there's a scene set in the 1940s, soviet Russia. It's also an urban fantasy, so there's an alternate history  that ties in with our own version. Basically, the protagonist is a Fox-shifter, immortal, and he's being tortured at the cruel mercy of a fellow Fox. Right now, they're trying to break his will, trying to get him to co-operate, and in my mind he's hooked onto an ECG that monitors his heart rate, so that they can tell if he's lying, or if he's feeling any particularly strong emotion. So that they can use whatever he feels strongly about against him.

In my mind, the ECG works like the version we have today, with the electronic graph and the little beeps. I belatedly realized that the version back then should be different from what we have now. I've read up that there used to be the soaking of limbs into saline solution, but was it still so in the 1940s?

A huge thank you in advance for help rendered!

19th and 20th century cataract surgery
Sokka looking proud
Fandom-specific explanation of the setting: post-Avatar: The Last Airbender, pre-Legend of Korra.

Non-fandom-specific explanation: The setting is non-real-world, based mainly on China, with Japanese and Inuit influences, among others. However, inventions that were, in our world, invented in other countries, occasionally show up in this setting, so don't feel limited by that. I haven't decided exactly how old I want a major character to be, which will affect the time period my fic is set in, but the technological level is probably going to be analogous to our world between the 1850s and the 1920s. I know that's a broad range.

Googled: cataract surgery in 1850s China, history of radio (part of how I pinned down the time period), history of cataract surgery, von Graefe cataract, congenital cataracts in adults surgery, idiopathic congenital cataract. I also looked at a post on atla-annotated (a fandom-specific tumblr), which gave some clues as to the setting (though I don't think I'm going to go with the Qin or Tang dynasty dates; neither would fit with the steamships).

Questions:Collapse )

Does a drug like this exist?
My current project is set in a slightly advanced Victorian era with steampunk technology. One of the main characters was a drug addict who had recently escaped from an asylum, and for that I needed a new drug. So I created lethe.

It's a street drug, but also has uses in medicine. It can be bought in either powder form or liquid form, with liquid being more common. It is either snorted or done intravenously and is highly addictive. Doses used for recreational purposes result in a mild feeling of calm and forgetfulness, though in first time users it often results in full blown amnesia. Along with the calm feeling, many users experience a bolstering of confidence and a lack of fear. In some users, the drug produces auditory or visual hallucinations, though rarely both. Withdrawal can often be deadly due to seizures and psychosis. In medicine, the drug can be used in low doses as a anesthetic and in slightly higher doses as a sedative. It was once used in asylums to subdue violent patients.

What I was wondering is if such a drug really exists and if it would have been possible to make during the Victorian era? And if not, then maybe if there was a mixture of herbs and/or chemicals that could create the same effects?

Search terms already used include 'recreational drugs', 'illegal drugs', 'amnesiatic drugs', 'herb side effects', 'weird drug side effects' and 'uncommon drugs'.

Medical treatment for pubic lice in 1910 New England
aviator steampunk
My protagonist, a gay undergraduate at a fictional college north of Boston, caught himself a case of crabs. He finds a doctor who will provide discreet treatment, but what sort of medicine does he get? Any particular brand? Would it be an ointment? What did it look like, feel like, smell like? These are all details which would be useful to me. I know about modern treatment, but I'd like to know how this was treated in early 20th century America. I did a basic Google search for "early 20th century treatment for pubic lice" but didn't get any useful information.

ETA: Thanks for your answers, everyone! What a great comm this is - you've given me a lot of food for thought and now I'm a lot more confident about making this scenario authentic.

Various questions about Russia in the 1920s - 1940s
Hi all, I'm doing the final fact-check of a novel I've written set largely in Leningrad between 1917 and 1942. You've been so helpful in the past that I was hoping you might be able to assist in tying up some of my final loose ends!

1. I'm aware that street names in St. Petersburg / Leningrad changed at various times over the 20th century. I've googled a number of different combinations of "leningrad street name change", "st petersburg street name change" etc., and the most useful thing I came up with was this, which lists past and present names for some St. Petersburg streets, but doesn't specify when the changes took place. Is anyone aware of any resource (ideally online) that sets out exactly when street names changed, and what to? (I don't speak much Russian, but I can read Cyrillic, so Russian language resources would work too.)

2. I'm looking for an obscene (presumably mat) Russian phrase that would be used in frustration - the sort of thing that you would say to yourself if you've messed something up or if something has gone wrong. I've read through the Wiki article, and found this, but haven't been able to find the exact sort of phrase I need (most of what I'm finding would be directed at others). The more colourful and creative the phrase, the better! (This would be in around 1936, if that makes a difference.)

3. Similarly, did Russians around that time use words like "God", "Christ", "for God's sake" etc. to express mild surprise etc.? If not, what sort of words or expressions would be used instead? This is for people who wouldn't use mat. I've done a few halfhearted google searches on things like "blasphemy Russian 1930s" but I can't settle on a decent search string, so suggestions of that would be helpful too.
ETA: Having gone back through the archives of the community, I can see that the question of whether Russians used these sorts of words has been answered, and they didn't. However the question of what sorts of words they used instead still stands!

4. I'm trying to find out the age of criminal responsibility in the 1920s / 1930s, specifically, at what age someone could be sent to the Gulag (or the precursors to the Gulag, in the case of the 1920s) for petty crime. Irritatingly enough, I know that it's mentioned in Orlando Figes's The Whisperers, and I made a note of it, but I don't have access to the book right now and the notes I made were lost when my computer was stolen earlier this year! I seem to remember that the age of criminal responsibility was dropped sometime in the 1930s, perhaps from 18 to 16 or from 16 to 14, but I can't remember the exact details.

5. Similarly, what was school leaving age during the 1930s? Googling various things like "school leaving age russia" and "school leaving age USSR" are bringing up facts about school leaving age today, but not historically. If no one has exact information, would it be fine to have someone leaving school at the age of 16 around 1936?

6. Last time I posted I asked for a distinctive accent in Russia, and the Vologda accent was suggested. Could anyone give me an example of a word or two that would make this accent obvious? When googling the example word that always comes up is 'moloko' (milk), so would any Russian word that uses unstressed 'o's make this accent obvious? If so, could anyone give some examples of words like this that could just come up in very casual conversation?

7. Does the concept of the 'revenant' or zombie exist in Russian folklore? I specifically do not mean a vampire (which is all I can find when googling), but in the sense of a reanimated corpse. If so, what is the name of it?

8. I'm looking for a common spelling error that would be made in Russian (in 1942, if that makes a difference), by someone with very limited education. The spelling error occurs in a letter of condolence, so a mispelled version of the word for 'courage' or 'condolence' or any other word that could conceivably be found in such a letter would be ideal!

ETA9. Final question I forgot about. Any idea what the army would have used to treat a mild infection in 1941, resulting from a gunshot wound? As it's pre-antibiotics, would they have just cleaned the wound and hoped for the best?

Thanks so much for any help you are able to offer!

Injury needed: leg/hip or pelvic injury
Here's the deal: I need an injury that would a) be difficult to manage b) take a long time to heal c) leave the patient with a permanent limp and a need for a walking stick.
The other requirement is that it'd be an injury resulting from the character being picked up and bodily thrown against the ground, possibly hitting a curb, so a dislocated knee is out of the question -- unless it isn't?  My original idea was a pelvic fracture, but those don't seem to result in a permanent limp.
Third, I need to know how such an injury would be handled in the 1920s. Surgery? Bed rest? Cast? How long would recovery take? By recovery, I don't mean full recovery but end of bed rest or the cast being taken off or whichever.
I've googled around (hip injury, pelvic injury, causes of limping, historical treatment of fractures) and poked about in the injuries to order tag, but I haven't found much info on historical treatments of such fractures, only about causes and outcomes.

Thanks in advance!

Transgender terminology and availability of medical treatment in the 1930s-40s
Hello! I have some questions relating to being FTM transgender in New York City in the 1930s-40s, in a world where I have some wiggle room with science/technology of the time, but should remain pretty close to the real world if possible. I'm trans myself and drawing on a lot of personal experiences for the character's mental health, dysphoria, and so on, but I know very little about what resources would have been available. I have been reading the Transgender portal on Wikipedia (particularly the Transgender American History article, which talked mostly about instances of it and specific people, but not so much about medical attitudes) and I have checked the ~transgender tag here and Googled various combinations of transgender, transsexuality, 1930s, 1940s, transgender history. This led me to some reading about Dr. Alan Hart and a handful more, but little that addresses my specific questions. Assume for the purpose of the following questions that the character has been able to locate physicians/etc with progressive enough attitudes that he hasn't had to undergo a lot of nastiness with regard to treatment specifically.

First set of questions: in the stated time frame, would a physician know of the effects of testosterone injections, and would this be something a doctor might suggest? Would the hormone even be available? What other treatments might be used to try and shape the body, the voice, et cetera? Would surgery be plausible (specifically top/mastectomy--it seems that a hysterectomy would be possible, but that's not what I'm looking for here), and would there be a lot of scarring, would the resulting chest structure look pretty natural? How costly might any of these treatments be?

Regarding medical attitudes/research, I did find this article, which was useful for when and how studies and procedures were taking place, but pertains mostly to Europe. It also doesn't cite sources, so I'm not sure how to verify its accuracy.

Second set of questions: what vocabulary was used for a transgendered person, or for being transgendered? What might medical professionals use to refer to someone who is FTM? How might he refer to himself? Were there any specific slurs for, for example, FTM crossdressers?

Finally, how would someone who identified as FTM go about finding other like-minded people, physicians who were safe to see, et cetera? Was there a trans*-friendly space in the existing gay culture?

Thank you very, very much in advance. I know this is a ton of questions, and I really appreciate any information or any new directions you can point me towards.

Teenager finding out she's pregnant in 1966
Setting: Baltimore, Maryland, US, 1966.

Scenario/Question: I have a pregnant teenager (17 years old) who slept with her boyfriend once, and I don't know how she would find out that she was pregnant. It doesn't look like there were any kind of home pregnancy tests until the 1970s. Right now I have it set up that she goes to Planned Parenthood and has a pregnancy test done there, but I don't really know what her appointment would be like. Would she have to wait for her test results, or would she get them right away? Would the fact that she's a minor change what PP is legally allowed to do without a parent involved? I'm also concerned that she might not know enough about the signs of pregnancy to know to get a pregnancy test rather than just going to her regular doctor because she thinks she's sick.

What I've tried: variations on "pregnant teenager 1960s," "history of pregnancy testing," "sex ed 1960s," and "signs of pregnancy." I've also tried reading about the hemagglutination inhibition test that was developed in 1960, but most of what I've been finding covers the more technical aspects rather than how it was really used. I've also looked at the history of Planned Parenthood, but they don't really have the specifics I need for this.

Thanks in advance.

Battle of Agincourt - English ships and medicine
I have two... rather unusual... questions about the Battle of Agincourt.

1) In what kind of ships did the English army cross the Channel, and what wood would they have been made from? Google has told me where and when they started from and landed, but nothing else. From the time period, I think it would have been sailing ships and/or galleys, but I don’t know which and can’t find what wood was typically used for those, either.

Search terms used: Combinations and variations of
battle of agincourt + crossing the channel + english troops + ships
14th/15th century + ships + wood + construction
galley + type of wood
sailing ship + type of wood (this did reveal that masts are usually conifer trunks - and that shockingly enough, ships are made of wood!)

2) What kind of medicines would the physicians have used? (I’m specifically interested in herbal remedies, but everything is useful!). The only even vaguely related things I’ve been able to find are lists of herbal remedies of the period, but they tend to be very much about everyday injuries and illnesses.

Search terms used: Combinations and variations of
battle of agincourt + physicians + remedies
14th/15th century + herbal remedies

Thank you so much for any help you can give!

Treatment and infection of gunshot wounds (Sengoku Japan)
History - underwater
Hi, everyone. I need help with a scenario that's so specific I'm not having much luck googling it because of the whole historical aspect (I keep coming up with present-day resources while searching for the medical stuff, and only technical information while searching for the firearms. Search terms have included things like "16th century firearms", "arquebus", "tanegashima", "gunshot wounds treatment/infection" which turns up modern resources that assume the use of antibiotics even if I add "history" to the query as well, "sepsis/septic shock", and possibly a few others, finding mostly general information. I've also checked the tags that seemed relevant in this comm, but the situations described there were all significantly different).

Setting: Japan, 1600 CE (just after the Battle of Sekigahara)

Scenario: I have a 60-year-old man who gets shot somewhere on the torso during the battle. (He was previously quite physically fit, and distinguished himself as one of the officers who fought fiercely till the end on the losing side.) The injury does not kill him then and there, but he is said to have died about a month later in consequence. My fic is set in this time window. It starts a day after the battle with the wounded character collapsing from exhaustion, having tried to get farther away from the battlefield and lie low. He is found by a monk who attempts (the key word here: attempts) to nurse him back to health. At this point, the injury has had all sorts of ill-advised stuff rubbed into it, ranging from bits of the projectile to dirty clothing to mud.

Obviously, I'm going for infection as the eventual cause of death, possibly coupled with lead poisoning from the projectile (unless the latter would have been too slow to matter in a few weeks). The problem is that, reading the general resources on gunshot wounds and infections before antibiotics, I'm beginning to find it unlikely he'd even survive for as long as a month. I am open to shortening the timeline of the fic somewhat (since the history I'm working with is half the stuff of legend anyway when it comes to this guy, and the portrayal I'm using is already fictionalized), but I do need him to be alive and coherent long enough to be able to carry on several conversations with the POV character, the monk trying to heal him. (Varying degrees of coherence are, of course, expected.)

So, what's the best guess for an infection that turns out to be fatal, but not immediately? One option I've come up with is to give him a fairly superficial injury (thus not hitting any major internal organs, and the projectile had lost speed) from a shot that was fired at a distance and shattered on impact, creating a non-lethal but highly contaminated wound. How fast would the infection progress in this scenario? Would there be a brief period of "getting better" as the wound itself healed, only to be followed by a worsening state overall as the infection began to spread? Or would it just be a steady downhill ride until (presumably untreatable) septic shock set in? What kinds of symptoms would be realistic to show that his condition is getting worse than it should be for still making a recovery? And is this idea even plausible, or does it require tons of artistic licence and I should look for something different to bring about the end result?

Another alternative would be to "just" give him a graze, but I'm not sure if that can get as messy/dangerous.

And a short additional questionCollapse )

Thanks in advance for any help!

Medical condition, early 20th C England
pretty fish
I'm not even sure if what I'm looking for exists, but here's the criteria:

1) It's a medical condition which, with proper management, leaves patients both physically and mentally sound. Patient (aged 25-35) needs to be fit enough for athletic activity.
2) The condition requires routine management, like dietary restrictions, taking drugs, or physical therapy. Without management, the patient would be sick or dead.
3) Knowledge/technology to treat/manage the condition must be available to middle class people in England in the early 20th century, before WWI.
4) The cause of the condition should be either genetic, unknown, an infection, or an injury (not a war injury). Starvation/malnutrition doesn't fit: the idea is that the character has access to his treatment.

Diabetes would be ideal, but the time period doesn't fit. AFAICT, without modern treatment, a diabetic person wouldn't live very long, and wouldn't be very healthy. But if anyone has good reasons to believe that's not true, I'd be interested.

My purpose for this condition is to have a character who is familiar with some kind of special routine of bodily upkeep, who is necessarily more conscientious about health than an average young man. A character who would be more than usually prepared for chronic illness. I think it could be possible to get this effect by having the character care for another person or animal(s) who isn't necessarily physically fit, and with that tweak I could have a lot more options. But ideally I'd like the character to have firsthand experience of the consequences (pain, incapacitation, etc) of failing to manage the condition.

Searches done: "diabetes history" -> learned that discovery of insulin treatment happened too late; "deficiency condition" -> learned that the most common deficiency conditions seem to be caused by malnutrition.

Alcohol induced coma treatment in early 70s.
Setting: London, early 70s, probably circa 1971.
Search terms: alcohol(ic) coma treatment, alcohol(ic) coma 1970s, alcohol-induced coma 1970s
Details: one of main characters, heavy drinker with a tendency to drug use falls in coma because of acute alcohol intoxication, with renal insufficiency and possibility of brain damage. I would like to know everything about treatment and medical equipment used in such cases at that time. Would he had any chances of recovery?

I found some texts about both alcohol intoxication and alcohol coma, but all described the treatment used today. Only one was about treatment in late 60s (text dated to 1966), but I suppose that within a few years it may have been changed. In addition, I have no idea how in those days looked equipemnt, which would be used in such a situation, and I care for relatively accurate describing it.

Thanks in advance.

Medicine and culture in 10th-century Cordoba
Pete & Pete approve.
My POV character is the apprentice to a stranded time traveler who's chosen to settle down in Cordoba around 940 AD. She's working as a doctor/midwife. What do I need to know about the local level of medical expertise? What modern/futuristic medical practices would be totally alien to the locals? What could they introduce successfully, and what would be met with resistance? General details for life in this place and time would also be much appreciated.

I've read The Ornament of the World, the wikipedia page, and a bunch of articles found by googling 'medieval Muslim medicine.' I know the contemporary doctors would have at least tried washing their hands and patient's wounds, though there would have been no such concept as sterile conditions. I'm sure there's plenty I'm missing, though.