Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writing Research: Performing a Tracheotomy

It's time for another edition of writing research! It's been awhile, in regards to this series and blogging in general. I've been madly editing videos (who knew the amount of time editing takes?) and experimenting with some video projects for SOI. Anyways, today's topic is performing a tracheotomy. Enjoy!

tracheotomy  (ˌtrækɪˈɒtəmɪ) 

— n  , pl -mies
surgical incision into the trachea, usually performed when the upper air passage has been blocked

I choose to research this procedure, because I've seen it a few times in movies/T.V. shows. I think Chicago Fire's had Dawson performing a few of those over the first season. Those scenes where always very intense and created a lot of tension. Rightfully so, they're cutting into someone's throat to save their life! And we all know tension = good writing.

How to perform a tracheotomy:

What you need: A razor blade or sharp knife
A tube (preferably a medical one ["good first aid kits will have 'trache' tubes"], but your characters won't have that if you want to height the tension, so a ball-point pen with the ink cartridge removed, a straw or a rolled up piece of stiff cardboard/paper)

1. Try the Heimlich maneuver first, tracheotomy should be done as a last resort and preferably by a medical expert. After three minutes without air the person will likely die.

2. Find the indentation between the Adam's apple or larynx and the circoid cartilage. This is the soft part of the throat where the incision will be made.

3. Use your blade to cut a half-inch wide incision that is about a half-inch deep. You will need to cut deep enough to gain access to the airway. There shouldn't be too much blood.

4. Pinch the cut or insert your finger in to open the slit (one source says to do this another, doesn't mention it. Your choice)

5. Insert your tube into the slit about one or one-half inch into the throat.

6. Give two short breaths into the tube, then wait five seconds and give another breath. The person should be able to breath by themselves (obviously in a labored manner, though). You'll see their chest rise and fall, and the person should gain consciousnesses if it's done right.

7. Get professional medical help.

Here's a quick video on it (don't worry he doesn't actually perform the procedure!):



Reasons to perform a tracheotomy:
-Trauma to the neck area
-Tumor blocking airway
-Foreign object blocking the airway
-Spinal cord injury (resulting in paralysis)
-Underlying health issue
-Unconscious from drug overdose, severe head injury, or poisoning
-Allergic reaction causes throat to close
-Has an injury that allows blood to fill the airways


According to the ever-trustful Wikipedia, Tracheotomies were first used by early Romans, although disease killed a lot of the patients since they didn't sterilize their tools. Anyways, hope you enjoyed that and learned something that might be helpful to your writing. Let me know in the comments if you ever experienced or wrote about anything to do with Tracheotomies.




What I'm reading: Fragments by Dan Wells
What I'm watching: Revolution
What I'm listening to: The Great Gatsby soundtrack

Source Source Source Source

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Bookish Update

I've got back into reading.

For a long time I would write a fair amount and read very little. Recently, I've neglected my writing a little bit and put more effort into reading. I feel like I've been refreshed; it's like I've had a literary meal after a long day of hard work. I wanted to share with you what I've been reading as of late, with brief (haha) thoughts on each book.

This book is set in a typical dystopian setting; the city has limited electricity and the economy has gone to waste.  The city also lives in fear of Partials, a genetically engineered super-human group that rebelled against the government. The story centers around Kira who is a medic in a time when all the babies are dying. The human population is dying out. Kira and her lovable friends set out to find a cure for the dying babies that involves the mysterious Partials.

I wanted to give you a bit of a summary, but not give away the entire book, because that's one of my biggest reading pet peeves.Hopefully that's given you a taste of it.

Partials by Dan Wells was an enjoyable read. I hadn't read any good dystopian since the Maze Runner, so when this book came across my cart at the library I picked it up. It was certainly hard to predict, which was refreshing.

My only complaint was that sometimes I felt a little bit lost. I'm not a very intelligent reader when I'm reading in a busy environment (often times I am); I don't always catch subtle clues at first read, so sometimes I need straight forward explanations. Maybe you're a bit more with it than I am, but I found it difficult in the beginning to follow all of the characters. I found myself flipping back to the pages where characters were introduced to clear up details.Once I got a hold of what was going on though, I burned through the book.

Other thoughts:
Wells also did a great job with all the medical terminology and had me believing every scientific fact he wrote, whether or not it was true.
The intrigue was great, but I'm not quite sold on the love interest, yet. There's still two or three more books for me to fall in love.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended for: anyone who likes dystopian, medical science/genetic engineering drama, and anyone who likes intrigue

 This book is a compilation of best selling authors writing about why they write. Some of the featured writer's that I recognized were: Sue Grafton, Jodi Picoult, David Baldacci and James Frey. Each author has a little bio section with details about their career, then they launch into their motivation for writing.

Although I hadn't read any of these authors' books, I found Why We Write arranged by Meredith Maran a very satisfying read. It was neat to see where each of them had came from and their process.  The nicest part about this book was its readability. Non-fiction can sometimes be daunting for us fiction lovers, but this was very easy to get into. As a writer, I found this a really inspiring read. The feelings I got reminded of how I felt when I heard the story of how J.K. Rowlings got published.

Other thoughts:
James Frey has a bit of a potty mouth in his section.
I recently got into the loose habit of reading fiction then non-fiction, then back to fiction, for my reading schedule. It's been great to widen my horizons a bit, and if that schedule is of any interest to you, I'd recommend starting with this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended for: writers of all genres, the reader who wants to know more about their favourite author


There you go, a little update on my readings. Speaking of reading updates, if you want to be my friend on Goodreads, I'd be happy to accept. A little shameless self-promotion there. Speaking of promotion, I have a little bit of that to do to, with the risk of being a walking, talking advertisement. I figured I may as well promote what I love instead of bashing what I hate, right?

ElizabethRedaMusic
A good friend of mine started this music channel. It's just getting up on it's feet, but she's a lovely singer. ALSO,  I'm filming a music video for her, so if you want to see Sunny Smith in a different role, subscribe to her and wait in suspense for it! Even if it's not your thing, any like/comment would mean the world to her. I'm sure you all remember what it was like when you started blogging, how exciting it was to get a follower or a comment; I know that I do. That's why I like promoting things that I believe in.

Write Right Blog
A friend of my sister's recently started up an international editing business (for reasonable student prices) and a writing blog to go along with it. Even if you aren't interested in the business aspect of the blog, I've personally found her posts really informative. The writing is advice is very practical and applicable to a student. Go check that out when you get a minute.


Questions for the comments:
What have you been reading lately? Any dystopian fans out there? How do you balance reading and writing?

What I'm reading: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
What I'm listening to: City and Colour
What I'm watching: Castle



 

 

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