Author Question: What Type of Injury?

Pat I. Asks:

I needed help with a scene for my book and Bonnie said you might be willing to share your nursing expertise.

The scene– in an early American historical:

 A young woman has a sack thrown over her head. In the next instant, her head is pushed down and she’s driven forward into a tree trunk face/head-first.

She’s found a few minutes later unconscious and the sack is removed. What kinds of injuries would she sustain?

I’m hoping such a blow is not hard enough to kill her or give her a skull fracture (attacked by another woman of equal strength), but wonder about sustaining a concussion? Also what kind of bruises on face or nose?  

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out with this!

Jordyn Says:

The frontal bone is the thickest part of your skull and therefore hard to fracture. A concussion is reasonable to give her if you’d like. These would include global headache (not just pinpoint to the area her head hit the tree trunk), nausea, vomiting, confusion, balance problems etc.Also a broken nose would be reasonable if she took the brunt of this blow there.

The covering over her face will provide a barrier to direct injury from the tree especially if it’s just one quick smack and not repeated. What I would imagine would be some bruising/swelling to the area that was hit. Maybe some abrasions. You can get burst type lacerations (like when a kid pops his chin open) just from pressure so this would be reasonable, too. You have some leeway with what you’d like to do.