If you’re writing anything where your characters are getting injured a lot, it might be helpful to have an injuries reference list on hand. WELL, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT BECAUSE I CREATED ONE. This is mostly the result of me having to look up something every time a character was gravely injured/being a lifeguard for seven years. I have some knowledge of first aid and how it might apply to the characters in your story.
Simple scrapes/cuts: There’s usually not much to worry about besides MAYBE an infection, which can be avoided with rubbing alcohol or peroxide. Remember, peroxide usually doesn’t burn or sting, but rubbing alcohol probably will. These injuries will bleed for a short amount of time, but it shouldn’t last too long.
Bruising: These occur when the blood vessels break under the skin, forming discoloration of the skin. The colors can vary, but they are usually purplish, bluish, or yellow. Again, this injury is usually not serious if it’s a result of a bump or cut, but if there’s significant bruising over a large area of the body there might be a serious problem. Usually time heals bruising.
Sprains: A sprain is torn or stretched ligament, but it is NOT a break. It is very common for someone to sprain an ankle or a wrist and it usually doesn’t require serious medical attention. The area might swell and should be iced. Sprains are usually treated with rest and a device that compresses the area—such as a sling or a bandage.
Broken bones (arms, fingers, legs, toes): Breaks can be serious, especially if they have to be set back into place. A person will most likely not be able to put pressure on a broken bone until it is healed (which could take weeks). A broken bone is REALLY serious when it fractures or breaks through the skin completely. If you write a character in this sort of situation, they will need to worry about infection and they might have to wait until the swelling goes down before splitting or covering.
Burns: Obviously, there are different degrees of burns, but simple burns will most likely be treated the same. Even the smallest burns will probably sting like hell, so it can be hard to function with an untreated burn. SERIOUS burns might require amputation (I’m talking about maybe 3rd to 4th degree burns). As a 1st degree burn is healing, it might itch—think how sunburn starts to itch after a while.
Broken back: A broken back can lead to paralysis, so you need to be very careful with how you treat someone. Your characters shouldn’t be throwing anyone over their shoulders with a back injury because it will only lead to more serious problems. If you suspect that someone has broken or injured their back, you need to keep them still until there is a way to safely move them.
Amputation: This happens when the removal of a body part because necessary to someone’s survival.If someone has a bad infection or there’s no way to stop the bleeding (you’ve applied a tourniquet, which will most likely end up causing an amputation later), a character might have to amputate in a serious situation.
Dislocated limb: If a bone “pops” out of its socket, a character might have to put it back into place. A dislocated limb restricts movement, so your character might not be able to go forward until the situation is resolved. Arms and fingers are commonly dislocated and there will probably be pain when they’re set back into place. Those limbs should be rested and iced to prevent swelling.
Jammed fingers: If you get your finger caught in a door, for example, and it doesn’t break; you might have a jammed finger. I’ve had a few of these in my life, which usually causes bruising and some pain, but it heals on its own. These types of injuries can be from jamming your fingers against something hard and you might lose a finger nail. They will most likely hurt for a while until they are healed.
Stab wounds: These are usually deep cuts by a knife or a sword or another sharp object. They need to be treated, as they are prone to infection, and they should be bandaged. If the bleeding is excessively bad, a common way to stop the bleeding is to get stitches or cauterize the wound. Cauterization is the process of burning the wound in order to seal it up. Think of lightsabers in Star Wars. No one bleeds when they’re cut because the “blade” of the lightsaber cauterizes the wound as it cuts. Your characters might have to stitch someone or cauterize someone in an emergency situation.
Gunshot wounds: Getting shot is a serious/life threatening situation, so your characters would need immediate medical attention.In an emergency situation, the bullet might have to be dug out and the wound cauterized if the bleeding is severe. If the bullet goes in and out, you might just have to worry about infection and covering the wound. A gunshot wound will be painful and will take a while to heal. If someone is shot in the leg, they will have trouble walking. The limbs will need time to heal.
Poisoning: This is a wide topic that could include food poisoning to being poisoned by another character, but they will probably feel very sick. Symptoms will include vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, etc. Your character might get severe stomach aches and will not be able to function. Being poisoned can be deadly and can happen quickly. A medicine called Ipecac will induce vomiting in order to get the poisons out of someone’s symptoms, but will not work for EVERYTHING. Further treatment might be necessary.
Stomach wound: A person with a stomach wound will not last very long without addressing it. If it is deep enough, it will kill off your character unless the bleeding and infection can be stopped. Infection is usually what kills people with stomach wounds or gunshot wounds.
This is a list to be used for WRITING purposes only. Obviously you should call a doctor or get emergency treatment if something is serious. I also wrote this list assuming that your characters don’t have access to medical professionals, so keep that in mind. Hope this helps!
"You know this isn’t something extravagant, I don’t see why you both are taking such pains to choose a kit- oh."
"It’s your birthday Gregory."
"Yes, love, this is important."
"Well, in those kits, I don’t know if we’ll make it out of the house."
It only bothers me when they think she’s a prostitute because they’re jealous this old man has a wife that gorgeous.
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