Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “unconsciousness”

Unconsciousness – First Aid

Unconsciousness – first aid – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000022.htm

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are some questions to ask if a person seems confused after being unconscious?
  • What are four things you should NEVER do with an unconscious person?
  • Why is breathing an issue with an unconscious person?
  • How is unconsciousness different from sleep?


This is a first aid guide from the MedlinePlus encyclopedia on what to do with people who have experienced a period of unconscious. According to the article, emergency services should be called in the following situations:

  • Does not return to consciousness quickly (within a minute)
  • Has fallen down or been injured, especially if bleeding
  • Has diabetes
  • Has seizures
  • Has lost bowel or bladder control
  • Is not breathing
  • Is pregnant
  • Is over age 50

Coma (MedlinePlus)

Coma – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/coma.html

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How long do comas commonly last?
  • What are the signs of locked-in syndrome?
  • What are the causes of diabetic coma?
  • What can laypeople do for diabetic coma patients while waiting for emergency services?
  • What is the difference between stupor and coma?


This is a MedlinePlus topics page on coma and has links to articles on coma and specific conditions such as diabetic comas and locked-in syndrome. This last condition is can be very frightening for a character because they will be aware of their surroundings but be unable to communicate that awareness to the world except through eye movements. Captain Pike in the episode “The Cage” of Star Trek TOS seems like he had locked in syndrome.

This section also links to guides to determining brain death.

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