isethia (isethia) wrote in little_details,

Hypoxic brain injury-Aftermath, caretaking, and improvised rehabilitation

Setting: A medieval fantasy world, but the characters are all from present day Earth. (They're all from different countries, so I can't really be more specific.)

In my story I have a character who was almost killed by a spell. When his family found him, he wasn't breathing, and at least a couple minutes had passed since he stopped breathing. One of the people with him was able to give him CPR, and he started breathing again. However, because the characters are currenty on a medieval fantasy world, there was no real medical treatment available. The character was kept alive by magic, but that couldn't do anything to heal him, just keep him alive. He spent about a week in a coma, and his family managed to find creative ways to keep him alive (in addition to the magical item that was basically acting as life support).

I'm about to write a scene taking place two months later, when two other characters are going to find out that this character is still alive. (They were told by the villain that he had been killed.) So, I've been doing research trying to find out more about the condition that this character is in, and what his family might have been doing to help him. I know that based on the time that the character wasn't breathing, that he would have suffered some kind of aftereffects from the oxygen deprivation. However, my research has so far only unearthed a lot of technical information (and I think I read the exact same article on five different websites.)

Based on what I've found in my research, the aftereffects that the character would have would depend on what part of the brain was affected by the oxygen deprivation. What I'm leaning towards is possibly some kind of difficulty with language, and possibly some weakness on one side of his body  (probably the right side, since if I remember correctly, that's the side of the body controlled by the same side of the brain that controls language). But, what I really need help figuring out, is what his family might have to do to take care of him. Especially since they need to keep him with them while they complete the mission they're on. They can't go back to Earth until the mission is completed, and they can't leave in the town they're currently in, because they might not be coming back to that town. I also need to know what they can be doing to help him learn to live with the effects of the injury. Because, obviously, if they were on Earth, he would be sent to rehab center where professionals would be able to take care of that, and give him whatever kinds of rehabilitation therapies that he needs. However, I need things that his family can to do help him, since that option isn't available.

Another thing that might be helpful would be some idea of just how much he might have been able to recover in two months. However, I'm not sure if that's actually a reference question, or if it's something I just need to make up.

Search terms I've used have mainly been to give information about the injury itself. I've searched for: oxygen deprivation, long term effects of oxygen deprivation, hypoxia, cerebral hypoxia, hypoxic brain injury, and hypoxic brain damage. I also read Wikipedia articles on hypoxia and cerebral hypoxia. I wasn't really sure what to look up for information about the rehabilitation, because of my setting. One of the articles I read had some references, but I wasn't able to find much useful information about that.

Tags: ~medicine: injuries: head injuries, ~medicine: suffocation

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