June 15th, 2015

ScarJo

Medical conditions that require long hospital stays

I swear my google fu has never failed me so bad before ...

My story is set today in Germany.
The question is simple enough: I'm working on an idea where two characters (teenagers) meet in an hospital as patients. So far so good.
All I need are plausible medical conditions that require long hospital stays BUT don't render someone completely immobile/barely conscious (like a coma wouldn't work for obvious reasons).

Of course I googled "long term illness", "long hospital stay", "chronic illness", "what reasons for long hospital stay?" etc etc but all I got were a dozen hospital websites that didn't really explain wo me what I wanted to know. ;)

My first thought was cancer, so I researched cancer and treatment. But the more I found out the more it seems that people don't stay that long in a hospital aside from the surgeries or during the final stages. I totally thought chemotherapy would have to be stationary but obviously that's not the case?

Anything neurological (craniocerebral injuries, cerebral haemorrhaging etc.)  would almost always affect their cognition/consciousness which I don't want, so that's out of the question.

The only thing I found out so far are people waiting for a heart or lung transplants and have to be monitored 24/7 or people with kidney failure who need renal dialysis? Except again I'm not really sure because I already found cases of patients who lived at home and only went for a few hours per day (or per week) to the hospital for dialysis. Does anybody know in which cases hospitalization is required?  

So in a nutshell: Are there any plausibel medical conditions, injuries, chronic illnesses or anything that would require long stays at the hospital and a lot of treatement? I'd be really grateful for any kind of help!

badass dave

What if we breathed nitrogen?

I'm currently working on making some changes to an original race of aliens that are very humanoid, as well as the mixed race children they had with Earthlings. For some variety, I was hoping to make it that these aliens breathed something other than oxygen, but I'm having a great deal of trouble figuring out what sort of changes that might make to them physically/if it would really be possible. I've read enough to know that hydrogen would be a bad choice, which is disappointing since it could be distilled from water. They'd probably blow themselves up before they could get it into their lungs. XD So, I thought maybe nitrogen. What would it be like if humanoid creatures breathed nitrogen? The alien body processes do not need to be 100% human-like, but I'd rather not have major changes to their physical appearance. Is it at all possible than an inert gas be used for respiration?

Also, would it be possible that the mixed race children be able to breathe both oxygen and nitrogen? Like, their bodies would start off with oxygen and if the oxygen was cut off somehow, they would automatically switch to breathing nitrogen? Or would this result in some sort of explosive reaction I'm not aware of? (Science was never my strong subject.)

Used searches like, "What if we breathed nitrogen?" which came up with links describing how we would die if all we had in the air around us was nitrogen since we breathe oxygen. Not at all helpful, in other words.
Inara

[ANON POST] Aconite Poisoning and Treatment in 1500s Italy

I’m writing an Assassin’s Creed fanfiction set in Italy in the early 1500s, and I’ve got a bit of a poisoning problem. There is a section of the story in which an assassin attacks his target with the poison blade, so aconite is injected into the victim. The problem I have is that seconds after he’s successfully injected his target, he realises he’s made a mistake and the target has to survive, no matter what. The assassin is able to get the target to a doctor within a flexible timeframe, although I do have to allow for the public aftermath of a botched assassination attempt.

All the sources I’ve found are consistent on the symptoms aconite poisoning causes, but the only recommendations for treatment I can find apply to the modern day. I can’t find anything about how it would have been treated in the 1500s or if it could be treated at all. Equally, the only cases of aconite poisoning I can find describe situations where the poison was ingested.

As far as I can tell, cardiovascular irregularities will almost certainly occur, and the victim's heart will stop in this fanfiction. From there, I have a distinctly non-medical progression in mind but up until that point, I'll need to be as true to the historical context as possible.

Essentially, what I need to know is:

• Are there any differences in symptoms or how quickly aconite can kill if it is injected rather than ingested? Incidentally, can aconite even be injected? I'm a little wary of taking the details of the AC universe at face value.

• The assassin will tell the doctor exactly what happened and the name of the poison. Based on that, what action would the doctor take? What impact, if any, would it have on the victim's condition and chances of survival?

These are some of the articles / sources I've read: (I haven't listed all of them, but these ones cover most of the information I've collected - hope that's ok) Collapse )

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.