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Guide to Wounds and Injuries

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All of the information contained herein is accurate to the best of my knowledge, and is condensed from over one thousand pages of medical literature published by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, The National Center for Biotechnology Information, and The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. All credit belongs to those organizations. This guide is a simplified overview of trauma designed to be interpretable by a roleplayer. I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:00 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:08:33 by Salt Aren

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Introduction

Modern medical science accepts that trauma is not a series of isolated events but rather a
disease
. Both illness and injury require three elements in order to to occur: a host, an agent to cause the illness or injury, and an environment suitable for the meeting of host and agent.

In trauma, a
host
is the victim of an injury. In roleplay this would be classified as those who receive injuries in combat or through other means. The
agent
of trauma, or the disease causing process, is
energy
. Energy from blows, from bullets, from car collisions, from crossbow bolts and sword swings and so on, the transfer of energy from an outside source to a host is what creates a traumatic injury.

Each host, or victim, has a tolerance level to energy which can be overwhelmed. Whether or not that is the case depends on the velocity, shape, material, and time of exposure to energy. For example, a sword swing can cause such horrific injuries to soft tissue because it is moving with great velocity, it is sharp in nature, it is made of strong steel which bends only to allow it not to break on impact, and it cuts fast. Note that the relationship between these factors and the amount of damage delivered is not always identical between different
types of trauma
.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:03 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:17:16 by Salt Aren

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Types of Trauma

At a very simple level of understanding, there are two types of trauma.
Penetrating trauma
occurs when an object or other manner of energy delivery pierces the victim. Injuries delivered from swords, cannon balls, knives, crossbow bolts, bullets and other objects capable of penetrating tissue are classified as penetrating trauma.

Blunt trauma
occurs when energy, but not an object itself, enters the body of the host/victim and causes damage. Injuries delivered from blows, kicks, non-penetrating hits from a mace or morning star, collisions, falls, burns, explosions and other non-penetrating trauma are classified as blunt trauma.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:13 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:18:24 by Salt Aren

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Penetrating Trauma

The result of an object penetrating tissue, penetrating trauma is most commonly seen in life with bullet and knife wounds. In roleplay, the most common penetrating injuries are those delivered by swords, daggers, arrows, crossbow bolts, and so on. Penetrating trauma is divided into three levels based on velocity: low-velocity, medium-velocity, and high-velocity trauma.


Low-velocity
penetrating trauma is generally accepted to be trauma that can be delivered at a speed that a human can produce unassisted. Injuries delivered from swords, knives, axes, spears, daggers and similar objects are considered to be low-velocity penetrating trauma. Low-velocity trauma is unique in that the damage usually stops with the tip of the object. A sword strike that pierces the left lung of a victim will not necessarily damage the right lung, for example.

Medium-velocity
penetrating trauma is trauma that can be delivered at speeds above what a human can produce, but not at such high speeds that cavitation occurs.
Cavitation
is the creation of an empty space within the body as an object passes through tissue. Cavitation is most often seen in real life in the form of high powered rifle wounds. Medium-velocity injuries, by contrast, do not usually produce cavitation.

Medium-velocity and high-velocity trauma are levels of trauma in which the damage imparted on the victim is not limited to the end of an object. For example, a heavy ballista bolt that pierces a person's torso will inflict severe damage to multiple tissues within the body, not just the tissue immediately surrounding the ballista bolt.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:16 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:19:40 by Salt Aren

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High-velocity
penetrating trauma is trauma so severe that it inflicts severe, immediate, and permanent damage on multiple parts of a victim in a very short period of time. Being hit by an iron ball fired from a cannon is an example of high-velocity penetrating trauma. A person does not easily survive such an encounter, and if so they usually suffer permanent debilitation or disability. High-velocity penetrating trauma causes multisystem injuries that severely hinder the ability of the body to function.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:19 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:19:58 by Salt Aren

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Blunt Trauma

As stated before, trauma that does not involve an object penetrating the body is classfied as blunt trauma. Blunt trauma does not have levels, as penetrating trauma does, however there are some commonly accepted sub-categories of blunt trauma known to medicine. The most common of these are collisions such as those seen in car crashes, blows with the fist or foot, impact with a blunt object, falls, burns, and explosions.


A
collision
is trauma that occurs when a large object collides with a victim in some manner. Typically seen in life in the form of car crashes, collisions produce multiple blunt trauma injuries dependent on velocity, protective equipment, and other factors. A large rock formation thrown at your character by an earth mage would classify as a collision. Collisions can cause severe injuries to several parts of the body, as seen in many vehicular collisions.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:21 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:20:32 by Salt Aren

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A
blow
is trauma that occurs when an object is struck against a victim by another person. For the purpose of this guide blows shall mean impacts with fists, feet, elbows and other body parts. Delivering any effective damage with a blow is difficult for the untrained, while highly trained professionals such as boxers can deliver a lethal blow to an unarmored victim with one punch to the head. Damage with a blow is usually dependent on the skill of the one delivering it, along with the area the blow strikes. A punch to the chest from a young, untrained man, no matter his size or musculature, will not equate to a punch to the throat or temple from a professional boxer.


An
impact with a blunt object
is commonly seen during assault, when a person attacks another with some form of non-penetrating weapon. In roleplay, blunt object impacts are commonly seen with maces, although almost any reasonably sized object can be bludgeoned against a victim effectively with enough training. Damage from blunt impact ranges widely, from slight bruises, to fractured bone, to concussion, to traumatic brain injury (TBI), to death.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:24 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:21:04 by Salt Aren

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A
fall
is trauma seen when a person impacts a surface as the result of falling from one place or another. Typically seen in the elderly and the infirm, falls are some of the most common forms of trauma in the developed world, next to motor vehicular collisions. Falls can cause severe damage to bones and nerve endings depending on variables such as the height of the fall, the position of the victim, and so on. The most severe forms of damage from falls includes brain hemorrhage, spinal fracture, severed spinal cord, coma, and death.


Burns
occur when the body's tissues are exposed to temperatures exceeding their threshold for heat. Arguably the most frightening of all forms of trauma, burns range from simple sunburns to severe life-ending burns through several layers of tissue. Burns to the airway are particularly dangerous, as the tissue of the upper airway swells shut when exposed to extreme heat, while the tissue of the lower airway becomes ineffective at exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen. Essentially, catching a powerful fire spell to the face could not be shrugged off, on the contrary it would result in difficulty breathing followed by collapse and death if left untreated, even if the victim was wearing a full-face metal helmet.
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09-Jul-2018 20:58:27 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2018 21:21:34 by Salt Aren

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