September 28th, 2008

Treating a laceration/stitches in 1968

Time/Place: New York City, 1968

A man has a laceration on his back from a switchblade. He's being treated by a friend who is not a doctor, but has decent medical supplies and some training (so the wound should be able to heal properly). The wound is not life-threatening but requires stitches. I've looked up current methods of giving someone stitches, but how would they differ in 1968, if at all? Would the needle used be traumatic or atraumatic, straight or curved? What painkillers might be administered? (This all might be too specific, but even general 60s medical info on treating lacerations would be helpful.)

I've googled variations of "stitches/suture/laceration/treatment/1968" with poor results.

legal consequences of overdose

Alright, I searched, I used my best educated guess, and I even asked a lawyer (who's not a medicolegal lawyer). I try to post more answers on here than questions, but the collective hive mind might be my last hope.
Setting is mid 1990's United States (Chicago, IL)
Googled many combos of the following: overdose legal respons*, heroin overdose,  nonlethal, emergency room report*, legal , police involve*, etc.

My character has experienced a head injury with LOC and is taken the the ER for treatment. His overdose is a secondary finding at the ER. I know that ERs are legally obligated to report certain things, so I am assuming that a cop would be by to take a statement from the Dr. and from whoever accompanied the patient (patient is out cold). Since the injury happened in a public place (onstage in a club) maybe a cop was the first responder to the 911 call.

The character's cronies have searched his belongings and taken away any drugs or paraphrenalia, so the only heroin 'in possession' is in the guy's veins. Is there still a police report? Is it still obligatory for the ER to report drug 'use' in this case? Or is it simply a matter of record on the chart? If so, (lawyer friend as assured me of this part) there would be no case. Probably just a hearing where the character would be called to stand in court (albeit wobbly) but the judge would have to throw this out due to lack of evidence.

Does anyone know what the proceedure would be? I know ERs at least in Chicago (assumably many US urban areas) have to report things like gunshot wounds, drug-muling, rape (well, they have to give the option), and child abuse-- anything like that where the evidence is *in* or *on* the body for extended periods of time, but do they have to report a nonlethal overdose with no other signs of possession?

It's crucial to the plot, or I wouldn't ask. Thanks for any insight you might have to offer.

Neat deaths and decomposing bodies

My story doesn't have a definite setting right now except for it's set in the present.

I've searched on google, yahoo for 'how to keep dead bodies from decomposing' and so far I have only found sites that aren't very helpful or are creepy and completely irrelevant.

My main character comes into possession of a dead body that she must keep from decomposing. The problem that I have is that she can't freeze the body as that wouldn't work for the story. She could keep her apartment very cold but can an apartment realistically get cold enough to keep a body from rotting? Would that work? and For how long?

What kind of death would leave behind a relatively neat corpse?

The corpse in my story is of a 25-30 year old male. The body has to be neat meaning it can't have any visual deformities or physical injuries that results from the death.

I considered a heart attack or aneurysum but is that plausible? 

Those causes of death is kind of boring so Im looking for any kind of unusual cause of death that would leave behind a neat corpse.(if that makes any sense).

Also how long does a body stay in rigormortus?


EDITED TO ASK: someone metioned embalming as a method to preserve the body. How long would embalming preserve the body for?
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