theFirebottle (thefirebottle) wrote in little_details,

Treatment of a wound while stranded on a wrecked space station

I have people stranded (edit: rescue from the nearest Navy fleet is a week's hard travel away) on the top four decks of a very badly damaged space station in an isolated region of space, following an attack by pirates and an evacuation which was supposed to take all 15,000 inhabitants, but left behind 1,300, mostly staff but also some civilians. The station's infirmary is very advanced and very trashed, but a small hoard of supplies was saved from getting torched.

The Admiral of this station has a nasty encounter with some metal wreckage while trying to move everyone up to the top decks, which leaves her with a superficial belly wound and a very much not superficial laceration to her thigh. The doctor takes some time to reach her, and by then she's lost quite a bit of blood. The doc then stabilizes her enough to move her up to a cot on the command deck where the senior staff are now camped out, sitting on top of whatever supplies they liberated from the lower decks.

Is it plausible that this kind of wound to the front/inside of a person's thigh could result in bleeding either only or mostly from veins (i.e. slower rate of flow)? She's lost a lot of blood, but not enough to put her out or kill her. If her doctor keeps her hydrated (and on oxygen?), but doesn't have enough blood or blood substitute for more than one or two transfusions, will she be able to stay conscious and competent to issue legal orders for a week until rescue arrives?

The doctor treating this wound has limited equipment, but plenty of portable/non-perishable supplies. Also, after twenty years of being “in charge” of a large, busy space station infirmary, he's more of a bureaucrat than a combat doctor. He has no trained assistance, because he put his staff and civilian doctors/nurses onto the evacuating ships to care for the escapees, in accordance with military regulations. He expected to be on the last ship out with the rest of the senior staff. He'll be hesitant to go rummaging around with a needle inside his commanding officer's torn up leg, but when the wound starts bleeding again two nights after the initial injury, he decides he really does have to do something about it rather than bandaging it and waiting for more help. Let's assume he gets a "second wind" with regards to skills he thought had withered from lack of daily use...

Edit to add a few possibly relevant details:
This character is of fairly robust health otherwise and overweight by 5-10 lbs.

First, what would cause a wound to spontaneously start bleeding again? Second, is it plausible that a doctor would not want to “stitch up” such a wound under these circumstances? Would he be able to do this after the second incidence of bleeding, even if the patient is weakened by further blood loss? How long would it take for an infection to take hold and start exhibiting symptoms?

Tags: ~medicine: injuries to order

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