September 14th, 2009

Falling and Head Trauma

Scenario: A man who has been drinking heavily falls backward off of a step-stool, or object of similar height, and hits his head on the edge of a low-lying piece of furniture. He has head trauma.

My question is: What kind?

For the sake of the story, I would like it to cause a loss of consciousness spanning at least a few hours. I would ideally like to throw in some kind of skull fracture, but my Google-fu is failing me in regard to figuring out if a skull fracture sustained from a fall of this height is even plausible in a non-geriatric adult(most of what I'm turning up involves vehicular collisions and accidents involving children), and if it is, what kind of fracture it would probably be, and where on the head it would most likely be located.

I'm ideally looking for something that is life-threatening without appropriate medical care, but not likely to cause long-term impairment if that care is received.

Can this sort of fall provide me with the emergency scenario that I'm looking for, or do I need to throw my poor character off of a balcony to get the job done?

Not looking for any in-depth symptoms, more a general idea of the plausibility of my scenario, particularly in regard to the skull fracture, as well as the most likely type/location of said fracture, if plausible.

Call me finickity, but here's something that really bugs me.

Ladies. Gentlemen. Fiction writers.

Please, for the love of all that's sweet and holy, have your creation eating, drinking and dressing as appropriate to their setting.

In particular, snacks. Brits in a hospital waiting room do not munch on Graham Crackers. Australians at the train station will not drop coins into a machine for a Tootsie Roll. And it would be a strange American indeed who asked at their local restaurant for a Chico Roll and a packet of Jaffas.

So, for your edification, here are some of those "Home Food" sites so that you can browse the British Biscuits and give your poor hospital people some Jammie Dodgers and a nice hot sweet milky cup of tea. Your Australian can have a Tim Tam and chew on the Minties. The Yanks can have their Oreos and a Coffee Regular.

And I can read the stories without losing my suspension of disbelief.