Heist (aliasheist) wrote in little_details,

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Suicide attempt medical response

So. My tortured bipolar artist is having a psychotic break, and she's experiencing an irrational need to escape a hallucination via blood loss.

Here's how it goes: She cuts her wrists with a utility knife, basically from palm to mid-forearm. I'm not exactly sure how deep she's going, but that's to be addressed in a minute. Given she is, as stated, an artist, and she dabbles with all manners of different mediums, there could conceivably be any variety of paints, turpentine, wax, glue, chalk or charcoal dust, or paper shreds on this knife. Now, I definitely don't want to kill her (as contrary to the subject, she's not trying to kill herself), but I would like a longer recovery time than is usual, or some sort of lasting physical damage.

1.) Assuming someone is called and help arrives inside of, say, six minutes, how will the art supplies complicate the medical response to this particular brand of injury? I don't need to know the usual response, as the character, ideally, will be unconscious due to shock. Just details I can sprinkle in later. For instance, what would be Bad upon introduction to the blood stream, but not necessarily Catastrophic, and howso? And might this increase the risk of infection?

2.) What's the average lasting damage from something like this? The few sources I've been able to make myself look at list tendon and nerve damage as temporary or permanent possibilities, but what exactly does that entail? If it's permanent damage, how will that affect fine motor skills? How well will she be able to write/draw/paint/etc.? If temporary, how would the damage manifest, and how long would it take to recover?

3.) Keeping in mind all the above, how long before the scar has healed over? I don't need anything specific, just a general idea. Ah, the joys of super-depressed characters who don't pay attention.

Unusually, I've a few things I don't want to know as well. I don't want to know about the stitches, or stitches having to come out, or basically anything bloody or to do with the mechanics of more effectively offing oneself in this way. I'm quite annoyed at the character for making me seek out this information when my mental state sometimes can be described as tenuous, and there are unsavory details I really really don't want to know. Really, I only want to know about the aftereffects and the long-term physical recovery.

Search terms: suicide attempt medical response, wrist cutting, wrist cutting nerve damage, suicide methods, etc. before I got really squeamish.

Thanks all, for any information you want to share.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries (misc), ~suicide

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