The character initially feels "fine" other than what you'd expect for someone who's been banged up pretty hard. He has the typical pain associated with a broken, bruised or cracked rib, but is not initially presenting with any obvious complications. I believe he continues to seem "fine" - in lots of pain from the rib injury and perhaps a few lingering effects from a mild concussion, but otherwise stable. He isn't moving around a lot (he'd probably try to, despire the pain, but his friends are very emphatically not going to allow that) and is probably making continued attempts to breathe deeply despite pain (so I don't think he'd contract pneumonia simply from not breathing deeply).
I have researched lung contusions and found that the most severe ones present with symptoms within a few hours, but that it's possible for symptoms not to present for up to a week.
I'm writing from the POV of the character's lover/best friend, who has suffered from cracked ribs before (and possibly a broken one) without treatment or complications. He's worried from the start about not taking the character to be assessed right off the bat and would probably pick up on things quickly once the character became bad off enough that he couldn't hide the signs something was badly wrong.
My questions are:
- How long could my character potentially seem "fine" (i.e. "just a broken rib or two") before taking a turn for the worse?
- How quickly would the situation escalate once he presented with symptoms of a lung contusion?
- Has anyone had personal experience with such an injury (themselves or a friend) and what was it like?
- What would be the most likely symptoms (I'm thinking fever, shortness of breath, potentially blue lips or coughing (including potentially blood).
I don't want my character to die, for the record. I want him to be a stubborn little fool and insist he's "gonna be fine" until the situation gets dire enough to potentially kill him, to the point where it's somewhat touch and go by the time he is placed in proper (read: really good) medical care.
Thanks in advance for your help!
(Google search terms: bruised lung, lung contusion, lots of terms related to complications of broken rib)