Christine (mintywolf) wrote in little_details,

Dying of Infected Burn Wound

I have a petite but previously-healthy 19-year-old girl who survives an attack by a dragon but dies of her wounds a few days later. Ideally, I need the burn wounds (to her thigh, but this can be changed) to be small or shallow enough that she tries to treat them by herself and, if possible, hide them for a couple days but develops sepsis from an infection and dies a few more days later as a result. (Once the septicemia sets in, it becomes noticeable to others that something is wrong, but I’d like her to be able to hide it from anyone who isn’t paying close attention before then.)

Healing in her world used to be done primarily with curative holy magic, but holy magic has been shorted due to a recent event so people have fallen back on less-effective homemade remedies such as potions, salves, etc. No antibiotics, hospitals, or advanced medicines. This character was trained as a magical healer, so she would be able to identify a wound going bad, but her knowledge of non-magical medicine is limited so she is ultimately unable to save herself.

Is it possible for a second-degree burn to not seem severe or large enough at first that someone could try to self-treat and conceal it for 1-3 days but then develop a fatal infection? Should I go for a puncture wound from a bite instead? If necessary I could additionally have her develop a pneumonia-type lung infection as a complication of smoke inhalation from the dragon’s breath, but I would rather not since that would be more obvious. It is a standard, somewhat small, fire-breathing dragon.

Researched: burn wound infection, burn wound sepsis, smoke inhalation injury, tags here relating to burns and septic shock.

Thanks for any help!
Tags: ~medicine: burns & smoke inhalation, ~medicine: septic shock

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