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Horror Story: Ways for a trapped character to die via lack of regular medical intervention?

 
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Mon 4 Jun, 2012 07:42 am
@DrewDad,
I called an ambulance, which got me to the hospital and into the ER. You say asthma at an ER, even a busy one, and there's no waiting.
chai2
 
  1  
Mon 4 Jun, 2012 08:03 am
You may want to reconsider kidney disease.

There are other methods besides hemodialysis, which involves the big honking machine.
Many people perform peritoneal dialysis (PD) on themselves at home, or at work.
While it does involves some equipment (tubing, bag, dialysis solution) it is reasonable a person could have been carrying supplies with them.

If the character didn't have his supplies, there is a limited time he could survive.

More dramatic, if he did have his supplies, and risked performing it in a trapped, unclean environment, they would probably get peritonitis, and die from that (in a not nice way).

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) removes wastes and extra fluid; however, it is performed within the body. The peritoneal cavity in the abdomen holds dialysis solution called dialysate, and the peritoneum, the membrane around the cavity, acts as a filter. A PD catheter, which is a small, flexible tube, is placed in the abdomen so the peritoneal cavity can be filled with dialysate. Waste passes through the peritoneum into the dialysate, which is then drained and replaced after an amount of time prescribed by the doctor. PD is performed at home, but can also be performed at work or in any other clean environment.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Mon 4 Jun, 2012 08:20 am
@Roberta,
Interestingly, it's also a disease that is very deadly to young adults.

Little kids and older folks will go get help sooner. Otherwise healthy adults will fight it, until they eventually succumb.

0 Replies
 
MrIVI
 
  1  
Thu 7 Jun, 2012 09:54 pm
@Roberta,
Quote:
BTW, I can provide some specifics on the asthma attack.

It looks like asthma is our current winner! If you don't mind providing specifics I'd love that! Are there ever injections like adrenaline or something to counter asthma? I know there are inhalers obviously.
0 Replies
 
MrIVI
 
  1  
Thu 7 Jun, 2012 09:55 pm
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Asthma is a tricky disease. Folks have died in emergency room parking lots because they couldn't decide if they needed to go in.

That's crazy! They were probably playing the odds on the flesh-eating diseases.
0 Replies
 
MrIVI
 
  1  
Thu 7 Jun, 2012 10:07 pm
@MrIVI,
Asthma probably is going to be the winner, the only reason I'm reluctant on it is it's stigma of being for week geeky people. I like diabetes, but it seems to put people into a coma not kill them.
Anyway, I realized I was able to widen the field. It could be something which simply requires another person's attention. Note, choking is a terrible anti-climatic contrived example I made up just off the top of my head. But as an example of what I'm saying: if someone were choking they could die for lack of someone to give them the Heimlich.

http://able2know.org/topic/191807-1
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Thu 7 Jun, 2012 10:16 pm
I had a ruptured appendix. That would have killed me were it not for prompt medical attention. It would also an excruciatingly painful way to go.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Thu 7 Jun, 2012 11:01 pm
@maxdancona,
That would be a great idea except unfortunately that falls under the two coincidences rule. In writing you're not allowed two coincidences, meaning: It's a coincidence that they got trapped, but while trapped the appendix exploding is a second coincidence. Asthma and diabetes are happening all the time, so an asthma attack is not a coincidence because it would have happened both before and after this time (if the character had survived).
Roberta
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 12:12 am
@MrIVI,
An asthma attack can be triggered by nothing (that we know of) and by stress, among other things. The last time I had a major attack, I was on the phone with the IRS. I felt it coming.

Tightness in the throat and the feeling that you have to cough, and cough, and cough.

There are different kinds of inhalers for different degrees of the disease. By the following day I was using a machine. Puffs from small inhalers weren't enough. Nothing worked and things continued downhill.

I couldn't walk across a room or even get dressed or wash my face without panting. With asthma, you can breathe in. The problem is breathing out. It gets constricted and tighter and tighter.

I called an ambulance and was taken to the ER. In addition to inhalers, they gave me steroids. The first time I was hospitalized with an attack, I was given steroids intravenously for nine days. The second time I was given steroids orally.

I keep steroid pills in the house for emergencies. But I don't carry them with me. I doubt that anyone does. I do carry an inhaler with me.

I hope this helps. If you need more info or more details, please let me know.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 04:30 am
@MrIVI,
Ok,

But one quibble; If there is only one thing it can't be a coincidence (by definition of the word coincidence).
farmerman
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:09 am
@MrIVI,
I dont know why it takes additional external conditions on the character to develop this plot. WHy not just have the guy trapped and, like Floyd Collins, have him slowly run our of air in an enclosed space of known volume. The acidic water dissolving limestone and depositing them into interesting cave features and flowstones would yield an excess of Carbon dioxide which builds from of the cave floor on up. The only thing youd need would be a small slip to allow a"plug" of debris that traps the victim and also provides for the buildup of CO2.

Like you said, two coincidences per story is a bit artificially contrived when youre setting it up. Mine is just a continuum of how the natural world works and made of things we should be aware of when we venture abroad.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:24 am
@maxdancona,
Actually, it is a coincidence, since it coincides with the people being there.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:26 am
@farmerman,
And you could have a nice bit about folks finding his calcified equipment....

Isn't there a cat skeleton in Carlsbad Caverns? Maybe that was Longhorn Caverns.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:30 am
@DrewDad,
Then the people being there is a coincidence too.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:35 am
@MrIVI,
MrIVI wrote:

That would be a great idea except unfortunately that falls under the two coincidences rule. In writing you're not allowed two coincidences, meaning: It's a coincidence that they got trapped, but while trapped the appendix exploding is a second coincidence. Asthma and diabetes are happening all the time, so an asthma attack is not a coincidence because it would have happened both before and after this time (if the character had survived).

There are no coincidences if you have adequately foreshadowed the event.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 08:42 am
@maxdancona,
I'm not sure what you're getting at.

It's a coincidence that the cave collapses while the people are there.

Alternately, he could make the cave collapse due to human actions, which would make it not a coincidence, and he could plot a coincidence anywhere he wants.
0 Replies
 
MrIVI
 
  0  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 10:37 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
... Why not just have the guy trapped and...have him slowly run our of air in an enclosed space of known volume...


That's a really brilliant / out-of-the-box idea! But so simple at the same time.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 10:40 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
There are no coincidences if you have adequately foreshadowed the event.


Jo, as usual is right. That's particularly why I was leaning toward the asthma and diabetes. The characters can be dealing with the issues arising from asthma and diabetes the whole time they're alive. So what it happens when they are trapped the viewer can't say: "Yeah, right why did that happen there?" It happened everywhere!
parados
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 10:40 am
@MrIVI,
And since it's a horror story. Make him do it to himself in escaping. He saves himself only to kill himself.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Fri 8 Jun, 2012 10:46 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

And since it's a horror story. Make him do it to himself in escaping. He saves himself only to kill himself.

That's known as "Twilight Zone Irony," or "Twilirony."

http://timeentertainment.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/to-serve-man.jpg?w=575
"It's a cook book!!"
0 Replies
 
 

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