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Linda Armstrong-Miller

Medical Consultant for Writers

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Getting those medical scenes correct in your up-coming book!

Have you ever wanted to discribe a medical scene in your short story, paper or novel?  Have you ever wondered if you were using the right drug or the right terminolog?  Is the injury you want to inflict going to work with the plot you are using?  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or if you have any other questions, I can help.
I am a registered nurse with ten years of Critical Care experience. I have worked ER, ICU, PACU and have some Psych background. I have worked with various types of patients including trauma patients, heart attack patients, and long-term critically ill patients.  I have assisted with more incidents of "code blue" than I can remember.  I have taken care of patients on ventilators, and, of course, I have bagged and tagged bodies for the morgue.
On top of that, I am an author. My novel Touched was originally published by the print-on-demand technology. It is currently unavailable because I am trying to get it re-released by a publisher. However, you can read the reviews that were written when it was out right here on this very site.
Let me help you blend the medical world with the world of writing. Let me do any research that needs to be done. I've provided a few examples for you to check out. For more information please contact me.

The monitor's alarm went off. Tracy saw that Mr. Shaw's monitor showed a flatline. She ran to the doorway, saw the purple pallor from where she stood and turned back to the nurse's station. There was no one there. Of course not, meds were due at ten and everyone was in the medicine room.
"I need help!" She yelled then ran to the bed and pushed the code blue botton.
In less than a mintue Mary, the charge nurse, showed up. "I'll get the crash cart." she said without asking any questions. Marty, a respiratory therapist, showed up as Mary turned to leave. With the assistance of an ambu bag, Marty supplied Mr. Shaw with oxygen, while Tracy did chest compressions--CPR.
Mary returned with the crash cart along with at least fifteen doctors and nurses. The room filled up fast making movement difficult.
"Give me the back board," Tracy demanded. "and get the defibrilator pads ready. When I lift him I want to put a pad on his back. Someone help me lift him."
Mary offered Tracy the board but no one took it to pass it to her. There were too many people present and no one was listening. "If you are not helping, get out" Mary yelled, poking the resident in front of her with the back board.
A first year medical student and a intern helped Tracy so that they could stay and watch. Taking Mr. Shaw by his shoulders, he was pulled to a sitting position. The zoll pad, a pad used to defibrilate without  having to touch the patient, was placed on his back and the board was placed on the bed so that it lay under Mr. Shaw's heart. it provided a firm surface that made CPR more effective.
With a zoll pad on Mr. Shaw's chest as well as on his back, Tracy resumed compressions. With pharmacy now present, Dr Cho told Tracy to "stop compressions."

After six minutes the loss of oxygen causes brain damage. Chris thought about  this as he held the number seven and a half intubation tube in his hand. His patient was being bagged. For now he was recieving all the oxygen he needed. or was he. The monitor showed 92 percent but the mottled, purple and white patches, remained.
Chris wiped his sweaty hands on his pants. He had intubated a dummy dozens of times but a real person only once. His hands trembled as he kept them low so that no one would notice.
"Is the ventilator ready?" Chris wished he could have taken the words back as soon as they left his mouth; he'd already asked Ken that question three times.
"Programmed with the setting you asked for."  Ken said.
Chris looked at the monitor. The patient was taking in 93% of the oxygen he was  being given. There was no hurry. He had plenty of time to intubate this patient. Chris watched as the nurse inserted an eighteen gauge IV catheter.
She placed a piece of tape on it then grabbed what seemed like a hundred blood tubes and started filling them.
"Okay give 20 mg of etomidate iv." chris ordered.
"what narcotic and how much do you want to give?" The nurse asked.
"I don't want to give any." Chris said.
"How about we paralize you and not give you any narcotic to keep you from freaking out inside your head." She said.
This comment pissed Chris off. He was the doctor. He would give the orders. He looked up to tell the nurse just that and realized everyone in the room was staring at him. "Give two of morphine and two of versed IV."
Chris knew giving narcotics when paralizing a patient was the humane thing to do and would have probably ordered some had he been given the chance.

She knew immediatedly that her arm had been broken. The loud snapping, the intense pain along with the lump that was quickly swelling confirmed her diagnosis.
"I'll break the other one if you don't do as I say. Now take your clothes off and don't make me tell you again." He came quick then rolled off of her. "Now get out, and you better be on time tonight."
The pain and the swelling made buttoning her blouse impossible, so she just held it closed. She left wondering how this could have happened. She wanted to go home and Homer had told her anytime she wanted to leave she could. Now he was theatening to kill her if she didn't show up to turn tricks tonight.
She left Homer's office and started for her room. Homer owned the building, which acted as his office and a boarding house for all of his girls. He liked keeping them all under one roof. It made them easier to control. Hearing one of the girls you lived and worked with being 'taught a lesson' was a  good way to maintain control.
Candy, her street name, had been schooled. Without having to lay a hand on the four out of ten girls who were home, Homer had still 'taught them a lesson. That was obvious by the fear Candy saw in their eyes as she walked out of Homer's office. They stared at her arm with wide eyes and open mouths. As she rounded the corner one of the girls approached her timidly and buttoned her blouse with trembling fingers.
"Put some ice on that." she whispered." It helps with the pain and swelling. As if on cue a twelve year old, who spotted welps and bruises on her legs, ran for a bag of ice. Candy took the ice and placed it on her arm, smiled, said thank you then went to her room. 
Once there, she opened the window and slipped out. She was going to do more than put ice on her arm, she was going to get medical treatment. Then she was going to go home. Maybe she would even kill Homer before she left.
The experience in the emergency room was humiliating. First Candy was made to wait while people who came in after she did were taken back and treated. Some of them even left before she finally got a chance to give her information.Then there was the issue of insurance. She didn't have any.
Five hours after signing in, she was x-rayed and her arm was set and cast. With no money and no insurance, the emergency room doctor gave her four pain pills. When they were gone she was on her own.
Candy called her mother. "Can I still come home?" She asked, crying.
"Oh, Baby, yes. Please come."
"Even after what I told you? You know what I've been doing."
"I love you. I didn't even know things were that bad with us until I found your note telling me you were leaving. Come home."
"I need money." Candy sniffed then wiped her nose on her sleeve.
Candy stood in the phone booth thanking God for the second chance she was about to receive; the very chance she was about to blow. She checked her watch. Homer would be demanding his first drink of the day in ten minutes, and as was Homer's style, he would ask her to make it for him.
Homer would let her make his drink because it was his way of letting her know that she was still one of his girls. It was actually his way of apologzing. Candy pulled the container out of her pocket.
It contained four dissolved pain pills and ten pills called nitroglycerin. Candy had obtained the pills from the bottle on the stand next to her stretcher then asked the nurse what the pills were for. With the knowlege she obtained from the nurse, she was pretty sure the nitroglycerin pills and the pain pills would be enough to lower Homer's blood pressure and cause him to die.
The effects were immediate. Homer's eyes widened, all the color drained from his face. He dropped his glass, tried to stand and immediately passed out.
"Is he dead?" the question was asked with hope and fear.
"Wait a few mintues before calling 911 then get out." Candy told the girls then left.  

All information obtained from this website or from my services is for informational purposes only and it is my honest and sincere belief it may be useful to writers and/or aspiring writers, writing scenes that involved medical terminology, injuries or drugs.  By trade, I am a registered nurse and render the information herein in an attempt to provide information to authors who may be seeking such information.  No information herein is to be used or relied upon in a legal context without first consulting a legal representative who is informed on said matters and licensed in the appropriate jursidiction(s).