May 23rd, 2017

Pneumonia and hospital stay.

Hiya. I am writing a fic where my main character has pneumonia and could do with some help on a few technicalities. It is set in Oxford,U.K, in the not too distant future. About 30yrs. I'm aware that things could have changed by then but I'd like to get an idea of what it's like now to build on.

For background, my character is a 76 year old male, in reasonable health, aside from fairly bad arthritis in his left knee and hip, which he uses a walking stick for. He lives with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson who is 17 at the time, and has a very good relationship with all of them. He doesn't have any sort of dementia or Alzheimer's, but he was diagnosed with PTSD in his mid forties. He has that under control for most of his adult life, but his triggers were being in hospital and having difficulty breathing.

So far I have that he ends up with pneumonia, possibly complicated by ARDS. His family are at home with him so when he suddenly seems to get very ill, they are there and call the ambulance to get him quick medical aid. He ends up in ICU for 5 days,four of which he is on a ventilator.

After this he is moved to a general ward. Sorry, there are a fair few questions.

1) After 5days bed rest in ICU, how weak will he be once transferred to a general ward? As in, will he be unable to walk? Unable to sit up unaided? Unable to feed himself?

2) He has had nightmares for most of his life on and off, that get more frequent at stressful times. Would his experience of ICU be likely to make them worse? Also, could this set of the PTSD, even if he's had it controlled previous to his admittance?

3) What would the set up of the ward bay be? Would it be all male? All geriatric? Would all the patients on his bay be in hospital for similar things I.e lung problems, or would it be a mix of ailments? How many are there likely to be in the bay?

4) Is there a sense of cameraderie on the ward? Do patients typically chat to each other if they aren't too ill?

5) What kind of equipment would he be attached to? I know about the ICU but I'm not sure about a general ward?

6) Would it be reasonable for him to be kept in hospital for a couple of weeks? When will he be allowed to move about on his own? Will they let him use his own walking stick or are they more likely to insist he uses a wheelchair or a walker?

I have searched many, many search terms and they all seem to throw up wildly conflicting results or no useful results at all. Thank you for any advice given.