pargoletta (pargoletta) wrote in little_details,

Recovery from a drug overdose. Also, hymns.

Hi everyone! I've got two questions. The setting would be contemporary London.

1. On the drugs: Character A has made a nasty enemy, who tries to kill him with a syringe full of succinylcholine chloride, just a tad less than lethal dose. He's a very lucky guy, though, and help appears promptly, bringing respiratory support and calling an ambulance.

From the medical databases I've consulted, as well as the Material Safety Data Sheet, it would appear that the basic treatment for this overdose would be to intubate the character and then wait for his body to metabolize the drug. I also gather that one of the surgical benefits of succinylcholine is that it is both fast-acting and short-acting . . . in a reasonable dosage. So the primary questions I have on this topic are: How long could our guy be paralyzed from a big ol' shot of the stuff? What sort of side effects should the doctors watch out for? Are there any distinctive phases to his recovery?

The research problem here is that the medical databases all assume that the drug is going to be used in a safe, medically responsible, non-homicidal way. And the legal databases and journalistic accounts of people using succinylcholine as a murder weapon tend to concentrate on the successful murders, just mentioning in passing that a few people have survived murder attempts from this drug. Sigh.

2. On hymns: I've learned that, in the UK, the hymn "Nearer, My God, To Thee" is usually sung to the tune "Horbury." But how well known is it today? Do people still sing it in churches, would an adult Londoner reasonably expect to know it? Or is it just hopelessly old-fashioned?

Thank you!
Tags: ~medicine: overdose, ~medicine: poisoning, ~music, ~religion: christianity (misc)
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