January 23rd, 2011

music, serious face

ANON POST: exhaling blood without too much damage?

Setting: present-day United States. No supernatural forces, parallel universes, etc.

Search terms tried: hemoptysis, aspirating blood, exhaling blood, pulmonary aspiration, (different kinds of) haemorrhage, tracheobronchial injury

Databases & sites searched: Google, Wikipedia, ScienceDirect, MedLine; journal databases; uni library holdings.

The scenario: I have a character (A) who is caught in an explosion and found by another character (B), whom I need to have think that Character A is more badly hurt than he really is for a few minutes. Character A needs to be able to push through his injuries for a few hours to get some sleuthing done, even if he does ultimately need to go get medical treatment. Character B, who finds him, served in Vietnam and has seen a lot of injuries in the field, so while his emotional involvement with Character A could lead him to panic a little, he does basically know what serious injuries look like and would be unlikely to freak out without a fairly good reason.

If it could be consistent with the scenario, I'd really like Character A to visibly exhale some amount of blood following this injury, because the image would work well with some other elements in the story. I'm open to alternatives, though. The main thing is that it needs to temporarily fool Character B into thinking that it's more life-threatening than it really is, and be something that wouldn't take too many words to put across in fiction (the scene goes by very quickly).

If exhaling blood would work—i.e., be something that could be really bad but could also be caused by some lesser injury—what would you call that? Aspirating blood?

Any help appreciated.

1950s U.S. Maternity Wards

I'm looking for descriptions of typical hospital procedures, particularly on maternity wards, in the early 1950s. (The story in question takes place in 1951 Manhattan, but any sources within about five years either direction would be acceptable for my purposes.)

While there are timelines of the history of childbirth here on this fair internets, they tend to focus very specifically on the actual childbirth procedures--when forceps became common, the use of twilight sleep, etc.--and they're almost all published on natural birth-related websites. I want something a little broader in scope and less hopelessly biased. (A lot of aspects of childbirth in the mid-20th century sucked, I agree! But that's not actually relevant to what I'm trying to write right now, and I'm not inclined to assume I'm getting the whole story from people trying to sell me a natural birth experience on the rest of their site.) I'd like information more along the lines of whether/when visitors were allowed, what kinds of activities new mothers were allowed after giving birth (they'd be in the hospital 5-7 days afterward, after all!), how much they got to see their child (I know that a 12-hour isolation from the mother after birth wasn't uncommon), what a day spent in the hospital after giving birth might be like, et cetera. In-depth (and again, more academically sound than what one might find on a midwifery website) information about various childbirth procedures would be helpful, too, but it's not the primary thrust of what I'm after.

eta: Just to be clear, I'm not in doubt that the act of giving birth in the 1950s could be invasive, stressful, and dangerous. I'm just much more interested in writing about what happens after that point. Thanks.

Things I've googled: maternity ward 1950(s), 1950s childbirth experience, 1950s giving birth, 1950s pregnancy book, 1940s childbirth, delivery room 1950s, hospital rules 1950s, hospital visiting hours 1950s, hospital stay 1950s, hospitals 1950s, visiting a person in the hospital 1950, childbirth 20th century, et cetera.

WWII slang for bombers

Looked through the tags for aviation and military and wwii, and googled for a couple hours combinations of bomber slang, military, aviation slang, and some I've probably forgot.

I'm looking for any slang term, if it existed, for dropping a bomb from a plane that would give my story a wwii flavour. Any other wwii aviation slang would be great too. I've found military slang for ground troops of several eras, and modern aviation slang, but no aviation slang for wwii.