Celine Kalante (kjorteo) wrote in little_details,
Celine Kalante

Electricity and the heart

I need to know about how electric current starts/stops the heart for a plot concept I'm trying to work into my story. Basically, I need to know if the idea I had is even remotely plausible, if it could work but needs some tweaking, or if it's just stupid and needs to be thrown out entirely.

It pertains to electric current stopping/restarting the heart. I tried looking up cardiac arrest and defibrillation on both normal and simple-English Wikipedia, but found the topics to be a little too general to answer the specific question of "Would this work?"

Anyway, here's the idea.

Setting/technology level: Fantasy-ish, Renaissance-level technology plus magic.
Idea: Two characters have a fight. One has electricity-based magic, and manages to defeat the other simply by the fact that the first time they so much as clash weapons or make contact, she can send enough of an electric zap into the other to stop his heart. He collapses, seemingly dead. Just because she's overconfident and spiteful, she gives what she thinks is his corpse another zap just as a "Ha, so there" gesture and walks away, leaving him. Little does she know, the second zap accidentally defibrillated (or somehow restarted the heart via a zap, if that's not the right word) and revived him, so he can slink away and come back later.

Also, assuming this is even remotely possible, what kind of shape would the victim be left in? I'm assuming he couldn't just leap right back up and continue the battle and that at least resting of some sort would be in order, but can anyone figure out the specifics of what kind of condition he would be left in? (Like, would he even be aware of his surroundings, or mostly fine but fatigued and probably in no condition to exert himself for a while, or somewhere in between?) And would that change at all if he were, say, a lizardman? Also, for all of this, assume the two zaps happened very close together--he wouldn't be left prone for more than about a minute at most, probably less.

(He would have someone on his side who witnessed the fight and would theoretically be able to transport him to a place where he could receive medical attention, if needed, though due to his having a large, heavy frame and other fighting going on in the immediate area, it'd be incredibly difficult, maybe even almost impossible to move him if he were unconscious. This other person could possibly be rewritten to have basic low-level healing spells if needed, though I'm trying to keep the application of those limited to things like closing cuts. Heart stuff is probably beyond their scope.)
Tags: ~medicine (misc), ~medicine: illnesses: heart problems

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