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  1. #1

    Ideas for plot complication

    Hi guys and girls, and happy new year to everyone!!!

    As part of my tasks this January, I decided that I would try to edit the Novel I wrote as part of Camp NaNoWriMo last year, and I could do with some help generating a plot complication.

    In the story, one of the main characters is the leader of a gang, and he is shot in the leg. He makes it back to his base where they have a physician with a makeshift operating room to perform "battlefield surgery" without needing to go and declare at the hospital, you see?

    In the version I wrote, the physician has records of everyone's blood type, so that he can quickly and effectively find out who is available to provide a blood transfusion if people need it.

    The bit I'm stuck on is this:

    I have written that the person with the same blood type has been killed in an attack. This means that panic ensues as there may not be a blood donor. I want to give the group a bit of a challenge, HOWEVER... I don't want this character dying, and it seems logical that the physician would A) have stored blood on site from the rest of the gang, and B) just find someone else with the same blood type.


    So, do people think it's acceptable enough to just solve the problem by calling the next persons name on the list or can anyone think of a way that I can throw in a bit of a complication to make saving this character more difficult (but not impossible)?


    Also, does it sound realistic that the physician would avoid giving morphine if his patient has fallen unconscious for fear of his heart rate and breathing dropping too low and sending him into a coma


    I'd really appreciate your views on this.

  2. #2
    and Noumenon was his name Andrew Leon Hudson's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head: you could make it that the other person, someone less significant but with the required blood type, has not been killed - yet - but is also badly injured. This guy is hurried in for aid just as the rest are casting about for a donor, so now you have a moral dilemma: is the significant character so important that one of his allies should be allowed to effectively bleed out into him to preserve his life?

    Obviously the answer is "yes", but the fact of what is done can now weigh heavily on the character, either because he made the decision in order to achieve his goals for the greater good, or because the decision was made for him (after he lost consciousness, for example).

  3. #3
    It could be worse. ~tmso Moderator N. E. White's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I wonder...is this a good time for an...explosion?

    Or, why not have the field medical station attacked? Just a slight skirmish that is soon thwarted. Conveniently, one of the dead attackers happens to be the right blood type? Hmmmm, that might be too convenient.

    Maybe stick with the explosion...

  4. #4
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    Why don't you...

    Happy new year to you too

    ...make someone from his family (mother or father) who doesn't know that he is a criminal be the only person available in that moment. That person can be willing to give him his blood but later they can challenge his choice of life.

    I am just saying :-)






    Quote Originally Posted by Brainsnaffler View Post
    Hi guys and girls, and happy new year to everyone!!!

    As part of my tasks this January, I decided that I would try to edit the Novel I wrote as part of Camp NaNoWriMo last year, and I could do with some help generating a plot complication.

    In the story, one of the main characters is the leader of a gang, and he is shot in the leg. He makes it back to his base where they have a physician with a makeshift operating room to perform "battlefield surgery" without needing to go and declare at the hospital, you see?

    In the version I wrote, the physician has records of everyone's blood type, so that he can quickly and effectively find out who is available to provide a blood transfusion if people need it.

    The bit I'm stuck on is this:

    I have written that the person with the same blood type has been killed in an attack. This means that panic ensues as there may not be a blood donor. I want to give the group a bit of a challenge, HOWEVER... I don't want this character dying, and it seems logical that the physician would A) have stored blood on site from the rest of the gang, and B) just find someone else with the same blood type.


    So, do people think it's acceptable enough to just solve the problem by calling the next persons name on the list or can anyone think of a way that I can throw in a bit of a complication to make saving this character more difficult (but not impossible)?


    Also, does it sound realistic that the physician would avoid giving morphine if his patient has fallen unconscious for fear of his heart rate and breathing dropping too low and sending him into a coma


    I'd really appreciate your views on this.

  5. #5
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    This might help you out a bit:

    http://mytransfusion.com.au/node/blo...-compatibility



    Basically, O- people can only get O- blood, or they've got a problem. O- blood can be given to all the people of all the blood groups -- it won't set off any antibodies. So O- is the default blood that they can give to patients in an emergency if they don't have donor blood that is a more direct match. So if your base doctor had O- blood, they're all set. If the base doctor doesn't, then it's a bigger issue. A- blood can be given to the A and AB blood groups, both positive and negative. So if the base doctor has A- blood and the character is in that group, then they're all set. If the patient is AB+, then the patient can take blood from any other blood group, positive or negative, including AB+. So your character can't have AB+ blood. It would make sense to have your character have a negative blood type, because negative blood groups don't have the Rh(D) and so will attack red blood cells that are positive (do have the Rh(D)) as an infection with antibodies. So people with negative blood groups have the fewest choices -- only the negative blood groups that don't have the Rh(D).

    So your character should have a negative blood type. But not necessarily O-, as only O- blood can be used for such a patient. AB- has four alternate choices -- all the negatives, and A- and B- have two choices -- O- and the matching A- or B- respectively. So you can decide how narrow you want the choice to be and which blood types you want the doctor to have on hand.

    Blood group percentages vary by country and region, but basically negative blood groups are rarer, minority percentages. O+ and A+ are usually the most common types of blood. O+ can only take O+ and O- blood, since it would otherwise attack the A and B antigens in the cells of other bloodtypes. A+ can take O+ and - and A+ and -. Or you can make the character the rarer blood types.

    If you decide to make the character O-, a complication would be that he can only receive O- blood and so if they don't have it, he'll probably die, but his blood, being O-, is very valuable to save others. So if they can't save him, they'd want to get some of his blood maybe. Just to be ghoulish. Or they could have a match, but bombs, etc.


    As for the morphine, there is no reason to give a patient morphine if the patient has fallen unconscious, because if they are unconscious, they aren't feeling pain. Morphine is used to manage pain and improve respiratory breathing. It is sometimes used as a sedative with a terminal patient to keep the patient or cause the patient to become unconscious and unaware of pain. (It can be used as an anesthetic, though it's a lot trickier than other anesthetics the doctor probably would have.) If the patient is bleeding out, the key focus wouldn't be on pain management. It would be on stopping the bleeding and replacing the blood to keep the heart functioning and blood pressure from dropping. If they manage to get the character stable, but he's unconscious, they might have a morphine drip on hand, but they would need to wait until he was semi-conscious and totally stable blood-wise to use it, I would imagine.

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone, these are really great suggestions, and the information on blood types will be invaluable.

    I think something more low key like finding the right blood type is good enough, as the explosion thing doesn't necessarily fit the plans of the enemy.

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