October 4th, 2011

Lung-related diseases

Hello! I'm looking for a bit of help regarding pneumonia. I've done research in some medical journals, checked some medical websites (most specifically, Wikipedia, WebMD, MedicineNet, and various others), and while all the information I have obtained is interesting and useful, the medical journals are too complicated for me, and the websites don't necessarily have every piece of information I'm looking for.

I also had an on-line friend who was helping me (she's a nurse), but she became busy and kind of vanished on me while I was trying to confirm certain things.

So with that out of the way, I'll get into what I'm looking for. :-)

This is being written for a prompt for White Collar (a U.S. television show. :-) )

1. Setting: Present day, New York City
2. Character: 47 year old male in excellent health. Only known recent health problem would be a poisoning from digitalis, where he received an injection to the heart to restart it. (that's canon). At the time my story takes place, that would have happened about eight months before.
3. The Situation: The character starts off with what seems like a mild cold, and it progressively gets worse.

What I'm Looking For:

1. The person I'm writing this for likes melodrama -- as do I. ;-) I want this to be a difficult case of pneumonia, or something similar. I need it to be bad enough that he needs to be hospitalized, but I need him to be able to recover.

2. I would like to know about timelines; i.e. is three days too long or too short for him to get to the point of needing to go to the hospital? How long would he be in the hospital for?

3. Any information that can be shared on a detailed treatment plan. I know the basics; oxygen, antibiotics (if it can be treated that way), steroids (?), bed rest....but I'd like a bit more detail, if at all possible. I looked it up in medical journals, but there were lots of big words and such, and I'm not the brightest one in the bunch. :/

4. Would the digitalis poisoning and/or the injection to the heart create any complications? I don't know much about this (and I am also very aware that the injection to the heart was probably gratuitous on the part of the writers of the show, so don't scold me about that, please. :D )

I realize this is a very detailed request. I like details. I like specifics. If anyone wants to give me any info on hospital procedure -- especially if you have experience with it in NY, I'd be delighted.

Thank you for any help you can offer me!