Sushidog (sushidog) wrote in little_details,

Head injuries leading to immediate unconsciousness but not death

Setting; Victorian London.
Search terms used; combinations and permutations of head injury, head trauma, unconsciousness, blunt object. I'm getting lots of sites with medical information in case of head injury, first aid advice, and news stories about various injuries, but nothing that tells me what I actually need to know.

So, what I need to know is, if I have a physically weak and rather timid and squeamish man in his thirties who wishes in incapacitate but not kill a young woman, but who, for plot reasons, can't use any sort of drug, am I right in thinking that a blunt injury to the head is probably his best bet? And if so, where does he need to hit her? And with what? Back of the head with a lead-weighted club? Temple with a bottle? Obviously it's not necessarily going to be easy for him to ensure that he'll knock her out with one blow but that he doesn't kill her immediately (the injury can be fatal as long as it's not _immediately_ fatal; he needs her to be alive for at least another hour or so after the injury, and he needs her to be unconscious for at least half an hour; after that it doesn't matter whether she wakes up or not); roughly where is the line? What's his best bet for ensuring that she's quickly incapacitated but not dead?

He doesn't have any military training, so his main advantage is the element of surprise. It's important to him that she doesn't bleed out too much, if at all, so it does need to be a blunt object, and he can't rely on blood loss to render her unconscious.

He doesn't have one specific victim in mind though, so he can practice a few times on different people, to learn what works and what doesn't. (Worryingly, my first thought was "I don't need to know, he can practice a few times and find out." Then I realised that doesn't help me much...)

Also, a secondary question; in a normal, healthy adult who is not inebriated or on drugs, how soon after death does blood coagulate or settle? My character needs to extract some blood from a recently-deceased corpse (who was previously healthy, and died of strangulation or a broken neck). He doesn't have any medical technology, no anti-coagulants, no coolers or anything like that, just standard scalpels, flasks and bowls, and so on. He also doesn't have the facilities to hang the body up, so it will be lying on a flat surface, although the limbs can hang off the edge of the surface if necessary. If he cuts open a major blood vessel or three, for how long after death will he be able to get a pint or so of "unspoiled" blood? After that, will it just not come out in sufficient quantities, or will it change colour or consistency?

Many thanks!
Tags: ~medicine: historical, ~medicine: injuries: head injuries

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