Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “shock”

Shock from MedlinePlus

Shock from MedlinePlus – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/shock.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are the various kinds of shock?
  • What is the Lactate Test and when might a doctor order one?
  • What are the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome?
  • What is basic first aid for shock?

Description:

Overview of shock from MedlinePlus. Offers general information of the diagnosis and treatment of shock and links to information on specific kinds of shock.

Septic shock (Caused by infections in the bloodstream)

Septic shock (Caused by infections in the bloodstream) – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000668.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Who are most at risk for septic shock?
  • What is the prognosis for septic shock and what factors contribute to possible survival?
  • What are the symptoms of septic shock?
  • Where can I find in-depth information about septic shock?

Description:

This Medline Encyclopedia article is structured like the one on hypovolemic shock and notes that septic shock most often occurs in the very old or the very young, but are also associated with other diseases.

The “causes” section of this article states that the following conditions place someone at greater risk for septic shock.

  • Diabetes
  • Diseases of the genitourinary system, biliary system, or intestinal system
  • Diseases that weaken the immune system such as AIDS
  • Indwelling catheters (those that remain in place for extended periods, especially intravenous lines and urinary catheters and plastic and metal stents used for drainage)
  • Leukemia
  • Long-term use of antibiotics
  • Lymphoma
  • Recent infection
  • Recent surgery or medical procedure
  • Recent use of steroid medications

Story ideas

All of these sound like good character problems to me. Even the characters with these conditions who don’t actually get septic shock can spend pages being terrified of it. Maybe a discussion of septic shock scares a highschooler into not doing steroids.

Hypovolemic shock

Hypovolemic shock – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000167.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How much blood can a character lose before they go into hypovolemic shock?
  • What are the symptoms of hypovolemic shock?
  • How would you carry someone with hypovolemic shock?
  • What are some pre-hospital treatments you can try with someone going into hypovolemic shock?

Description:

Hypovolemic shock is caused by internal or external bleeding which results in you losing more than 1/5 of your blood. People who are shot and who take more than a flesh wound may suffer this kind of shock, as may stabbing victims.

This page is from the MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia which is more textually focused that the list of lists of the MedlinePlus topics page. The article is divided into the following sections:

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Exams and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Outlook (Prognosis)
  • Possible Complications – include Kidney damage, brain damage, Gangrene of arms or legs and heart attack.
  • Alternative Names
  • References

The references section includes:

Tarrant AM, Ryan MF, Hamilton PA, Bejaminov O. A pictorial review of hypovolaemic shock in adults. Br J Radiol. 2008;81:252-257.

This reference pertains to CT (“Cat”) scans of hypovolemic patients and could help in hospital/emergency room scenes. An abstract with a link to full text is avaialable from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180262.

(What Is) Cardiogenic Shock? (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)

(What Is) Cardiogenic Shock? (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute) – http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/shock/shock_what.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Who is most at risk for cardiogenic shock?
  • What are the symptoms of cadiogenic shock?
  • What is a left ventricular assist device and how can it be helpful in cases of cardiogenic shock?
  • What are some tests used to diagnose cardiogenic shock?

Description:

Cardiogenic shock is caused by the inability of the heart to pump blood effectively. This article from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is organized into the following sections:

  • What is
  • Causes
  • Who is at risk
  • Signs and Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatments
  • Prevention
  • Clinical Trials
  • Links

The most common cause of cardiogenic shock is a heart attack, although according to this article, only about 7% of heart attacks lead to cardiogenic shock.

Anaphylaxis (Anaphylactic shock), caused by a severe allergic reaction

Anaphylaxis (Anaphylactic shock), caused by a severe allergic reaction – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000844.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are the causes of Anaphylaxis?
  • What are symptoms of Anaphylaxis?
  • What are three things you should NEVER do for someone experiencing Anaphylaxis?

Description:

This is the shock that your peanut and bee allergic characters get to experience. Like the other MedlinePlus Encyclopedia articles here, it is structured like the article on cardiogenic shock described elsewhere. The symptoms section lists some items I wasn’t expecting like diarrhea and vomiting.

Marine Corps Combat Lifesaver Course Student Handout

Marine Corps Combat Lifesaver Course Student Handout – http://www.tecom.marines.mil/Portals/131/Docs/cls%20student.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How do I treat a sucking chest wound?
  • How can I distinguish arterial hemorrhage from venous hemorrhage?
  • How do I distinguish between second and third degree burns?
  • What criteria do I use to triage casualties?
  • In a combat triage situation, what care should be given to someone triaged as “expectant”?

Description:

This 137 page PDF file is divided into the following sections:

  • Tactical Combat Casualty Care/CLS Overview
  • Identify Medical Fundamentals
  • Manage Hemorrhage
  • Maintain Casualty Airway
  • Manage Penetrating Chest Injuries
  • Manage Hemorrhagic Shock
  • Manage Burn Casualties
  • Perform Splinting Techniques
  • Administer Battlefield Medications
  • Perform Casualty Movement
  • Perform Combat Lifesaver Triage
  • Perform Combat Lifesaver Care
  • Glossary
  • Appendix A: Combat Life Saver (CLS) Bag – Illustrated listing of bag contents along with possible uses of each item.
  • Appendix B: Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) – Illustrated listing of first aid kit contents along with possible uses of each items.

Detailed instructions for treating various injuries are given. In some cases there are also photos of injuries that some people may find disturbing.

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