Oh, Snap! (kutsuwamushi) wrote in little_details,
Oh, Snap!

Anon post: Hospital care of someone shot in the back

It's Utah in modern times. How would a hospital care for someone who's been shot in the small of the back? (Severed cord at L1 or L2 vertebra.) The patient is 27, male, and overweight but otherwise healthy--except, you know, for suddenly suffering complete paraplegia.

Googling "how to take care of an open spinal injury", "complete paraplegia", "hospital care of spinal injury", and so forth has gotten me great deal of info on what to do before the ambulance shows up and what to do over the ensuing weeks to regain function and avoid bedsores, but I can't find out what happens in between those times. For instance, I can't imagine the staff would put the patient on his back, but I don't know whether they would put him on his side or front instead. Would there be a choking hazard if he vomited--or tried to eat something? (I know I have trouble eating lying down.) What kind of surgery would be required? How would the staff manage the risk of infection? How long until the patient would be able (or allowed) to roll over or try to sit up? All the info about rehab seems to presuppose the injury has already healed as much as it can. Does rehab not start immediately?

I have been hospitalized twice before, once for a normal delivery and once for a Caesarian, but my experiences aren't terribly relevant. For a start, I walked out a few days later...
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: gunshot wounds

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