Author Question: Injuries Sustained from Physical Assault

Kara Asks:

I am a fan of your Medical Edge blog. Back in August of 2012 you answered a question for me regarding drowning for my current WIP. The information you sent and posted on your blog about drowning was invaluable and I made sure to save it in my research files for future reference.

That same WIP is now finished but as I am going through and tweaking the chapters, I’ve come up with one more question I could use your help with. If a woman in her 40’s, of average height and weight survives a vicious beating (from a much larger male) what would her condition be like when she wakes up in the hospital?

Currently, I have her waking up after being in a semiconscious state for two days, with a shattered left hand and wrist, that were crushed by being stepped on.  Some of the things she endured include –  being thrown against a stone wall, a slap to the face that sent her backwards, dragged across a dirt floor by her hair, several kicks to her side from a steel-toe boot and cuts and scratches from struggling to get away.

Jordyn Says:

Good to hear from you. Congratulations on being a Genesis

Regarding your question: I’m going to take each of the injuries you
listed and talk about our concern as medical providers and what
injuries what might be present.

1. She would likely be in a “semi-conscious” state if she received
blows to her head. So I’d include this as a mechanism of her injuries.

2. Being thrown up against a stone wall. Depending on how much
clothing she was wearing– bruising and abrasions. Could also have
lacerations here. A hard enough force will break bones so we’ll look at points of contact and likely x-ray if there is point tenderness.

3. Slap to the face. Bruising. A punch would be more a mechanism for
closed head injury unless she hit her head on something when she went

4. Dragged across the floor by her hair– you can get scalp injuries
from this– from hair being torn out.

5. Kicks to her side from steel-toed boots. This is actually the most
  concerning mechanism for injury. We’d worry about the organs underneath and the
injuries that may have happened from these kicks. You can Google
anatomy pictures to figure out what lies underneath. If it’s organs
such as the spleen (on the left) and the liver (on the right)– she’d
likely get some CT imaging to determine of these organs were
“lacerated” and to what grade.

You’ll have to be careful in the text to give a mechanism for each
injury she receives.


 Kara Hunt is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has been named an ACFW 2013 Finalist in the Genesis Contest in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. Kara also semi-finaled in the 2012 Genesis Contest in Women’s Fiction.

Kara also created the Christian Fiction blog “Fiction With Faith.” See exciting interviews, reviews and news on inspirational fiction and their authors at


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