January 13th, 2016

Injury-to-order: near-fatal injury that still allows consciousness

Setting: collapsing underground military base, near-future

Research: looking up variants of earthquake injuries, car crashes, disaster injuries, etc, on PubMed and Google; several case studies on emergency medical journals; ~200 entries in the medicine:injuries:misc and medicine:injuries:made-to-order tags on this community

Context: I have a character that I need as close to death as possible, practically hopeless, to the point where paramedics suggest he be left behind in an evacuation. The main cause of the injuries is an earthquake/collapsing building, though the specific injuries are currently up for grabs. I am having trouble finding a balance between the critical nature of the injury vs. I initially considered crush injury from having debris/his plane fall onto him, but ruled it out due to the lack of available time/equipment. I would also like to avoid significant (possibly disabling) spinal/nerve damage and concentrate mainly on organs.

Assume futuristic medical technology -- if the character can make it to the hospital, he will survive (because sci-fi), but without treatment he will unquestionably die within the hour.

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Crowley bollocks

Injury to Order: Removal of Quadricep vastus lateralis muscle

I'm working on turning a fan fiction into a novel.  It starts in the present day.  The main character is a man in his early 50s, in good health.  15 years earlier, something happened where the vastus lateralis muscle (the outer quadricep) had to be removed.  In the original, it was an infarction that caused muscle death.

I've googled: why would a quadricep muscle be removed, injured quadricep, dead quadricep tissue, quadricep muscle removal, quadricep avulsion.  Wikipedia only gave me the definition of quadriceps.  Web MD gave me a number of knee conditions, ACL surgery, etc.  In fact, most of my searches brought me to either tendon surgery or knee surgery.

Can anyone imagine a scenario where a muscle had to removed?  I had thought of a large soft tissue sarcoma, but wasn't sure because then the spectre of cancer would be hovering over the character.  It can't be a blood clot.  Thanks!

ETA: Thanks so much, everybody!  Been reading and looking at lots of gross pictures. Not sure what I'll got with...probably compartment syndrome with complications.