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Sickbay – Preparing for intake of wounded, triage etc.

Posted Jan. 25, 2022, 8:04 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in Sickbay – Preparing for intake of wounded, triage etc.

Posted by Lieutenant Commander T’Aria (XO / Navigation Officer) in Sickbay – Preparing for intake of wounded, triage etc.

Posted by Ensign Kastarak (Doctor) in Sickbay – Preparing for intake of wounded, triage etc.
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip!)

Kastarak cleaned up the wound, stopped the bleeding with the dermal regenerator. He heard Ensign Yasmeen Kiran’s question, though he understood that the question was phrased to Sutalo, Sutalo couldn’t possibly do the necessary diagnosis of the patient while speaking to Kiran. Kastarak was going to raise his voice and explain the situation to Kiran, but quickly came to the realization that Kiran simply wanted reassurance, not an assessment of the diagnosis now. Now was the time for empathy and calming. Sutalo was good at that – he’d help her calm down, arrive at a better cognitive state. As such, he needed to focus on his patient. While the surface wound had now been healed, and the bleeding stopped, there was still some bruising. The tricorder indicated some swelling of the brain too. Could it have been a concussion? For a moment, Kastarak experienced something odd – he couldn’t quite remember exactly how an Andorian brain would handle concussion.

Kastarak decided to revisit Andorian concussion in his own head a bit later. He had picked up on the damaged relay having caused the patient to fall. So Kastarak scanned the heart, to electrocardiographically check for abnormal behaviour of the heart. The tricorder told him all he needed to know about the heart: everything looked normal.

Though Atillos’ condition tempered his callous and presumptuous spirit, it failed to dismiss an iota of doubt from his mind. He squinted, watching through blurred eyes as Kastarak waved some medical wand over his body. Their shared silence unnerved him. Then consumed by the pain radiating from his antennae and temples, Atillos had not discerned much of what Kastarak said… if anything at all. Now, he longed to know the doctor’s observations. Was confusion a common symptom of relay conflicts, or had he managed substantial injury? Rassih took pride in his innate protection, but memories of his exoskeleton refused to make themselves available, offering little reassurance. He needed Kastarak to say something. A simple ‘you’re fine’ would do.

Kastarak returned to the skull – he had recovered the memory. Concussion would be quite similar to humans – dizziness, nausea, feelings of pressure in the head, headache, aversion to light and sound, feeling sluggish or groggy, and confusion. These symptoms could be expressed with heightened aggressions in Andorians, as their emotional regulation mechanisms would be impaired. On the other hand, in some Andorian patients, aggression might be reduced to even below baseline levels, due to increased sluggishness, causing the Andorian to be more docile and accommodating than their cultural mores otherwise would imply. Thus the patient would need to be observed for a few hours, provided triage doesn’t begin before then. In that case, he could probably go back to his bunk.

Kastarak turned to his patient:

Atillos slumped and pressed his fingers to his throbbing temples in a painstaking effort to quell the growing pain. Though he sensed Kastarak’s movement, he lacked the energy to meet his gaze.

“Ensign ch’Atillos, the bleeding has stopped, and I’ve healed the skin wound. I udnerstand you touched a relay. I have checked your internal organs, they appear fine. The relay should not have damaged them. You’ve displayed symptoms of confusion and nausea, so I am concerned with possible injuries to your brain. I should like to keep you in sickbay for a while, to assess whether there has been any damage to your brain from the trauma, for example by way of concussion. How do you feel now?”

Kastarak tried to appear as empathetic as he could, and while he spoke in a soft tone, slow words, he could not help but notice that his words might sound a bit too blunt anyway. Why are all non-Vulcans so sensitive to mere words? It never ceased to confuse him.

Rassih’s antennae writhed, erratic and languid, apprising Kastarak that he was listening. But, it took him a moment to consider how he felt beyond a lethargic ‘okay, I guess?’ Atillos blinked away another bout of nausea and flicked his wrist. “Aside from a splitting headache and overwhelming urge to hurl on this biobed?” He flashed a tart smile to soothe himself. “I’m fine, Doc.”

Meanwhile, Sutalo had spoken a bit with the patient’s colleague. Sutalo now moved toward the biobed, and helped clean up the blood across the patient’s head, neck and shoulders. Kastarak informed him of his assessment and plan.

“But we might go into triage soon…” whispered Sutalo.

“Indeed, but we don’t know. If so, he can go to his own bed, provided someone could stay with him.”

“Wouldn’t we need all hands available?”

“Hm, perhaps. What is it that humans say?” Kastarak paused for a second. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

The human culture was beautifully rich in metaphors. If Kastarak had to choose one thing he enjoyed about human culture, it was metaphors.

~ Kastarak (Ensign, Doctor)

“Uhm,” Yasmeen interrupted with an apologetic smile, “I can stay with him. My medical expertise is limited to adventure scouts and basic first aid, but I know how to listen. If you tell me what I need to look for, I can watch and comm you if his condition worsens.” She glanced between Kastarak, Sutalo and the sickbay doors. “Besides… if things go south, Atillos will be the least of your concerns.”

— NEnsigns Rissih and Kiran

Ensign Sutalo felt the hairs on his arms stand up from that last thing that Ensign Kiran said. It was scary. What did she mean? It stopped him from being able to immediately answer.

Dr Kastarak noticed, and to spare Sutalo any embarrassment of his three-second emotional overload (Kastarak was certain Sutalo would regain his senses within four–five seconds), he replied to Ensign Kiran:

“Very good. In that case, we can discharge him to you within half an hour. I am going to perform some more tests. Your colleague appears fully conscious, a bit drowsy. Ensure that he does not sleep, and if he starts sleeping, wake him. If he does not wake or have difficulty waking, get him back here. If he pukes, get him back here. If he loses his balance, get him back here.”

Kiran struck out a finger for every warning sign Kastarak detailed. Hardly a medical professional, Yasmeen transformed his instructions into a function, something she often encountered. If [x], then [y]… where symptoms were the input and response was the output. Yasmeen knew of several confounding variables, but she suspected the outcome would stand invariant. When in doubt, comm Sickbay. When in serious doubt, get his blue-skinned behind onto a biobed!

“Basically,” interjected Sutalo, now recovered from his sense of foreboding dread, “keep him entertained, play games, talk to each other, keep the brain active. Any sign of something wrong, call us. What the doctor said: don’t let him sleep. Check for balance, puking, mental confusion, difficulty moving, and so on. You can use our com badges for any questions. But you understand, we might be in triage soon. I hear things down on the planet is getting intense. In say, four or five hours, he should be able to eat a glucose-based meal, something very light.”

“Games?” Yasmeen echoed. Every task they completed during routine stints in Auxiliary Control consisted of games. Music made from deactivated buttons, breath held through internal diagnostics, a race to (accurately) repair damaged systems—anything to pass the time. If she tempted Atillos’ competitive spirit, perhaps she could keep him lucid long enough to stave off a coma. Yasmeen wasn’t so confident about the food. She learned the hard way that Rassih despised sweet foods. Never had she seen disgust warp a face so profoundly as she had Atillos’ at the sight of her snickerdoodles. Coaxing him into consuming glucose-based anything would be trouble and a half. “Whatever you say, Sutalo…” Yasmeen resigned with a sheepish smile.

Sutalo went to a cabinet and brought up an energy pack in a bag. “Half of this in a few hours, then wait a few hours, and he can have the rest. That will be his meal. It’s basically a sugary gel to give energy to the blood, so that the different cells in the blood can help his brain and body recover. Let him drink plenty of water, nothing else.”

Kiran snagged the pack and held it to the light, eyeing it like some unusual specimen. The gel reminded her of lubricant or gelatin or some concoction of the two. It was horrendous. “Monitor his alertness,” Yasmeen cleared her throat, “balance and coordination. If he sleeps, vomits or acts in any manner un-Atillos, comm or bring him back.” She wiggled the pack, “otherwise shove this down his maw in a few hours and keep him hydrated. Did I miss anything?”

At the same time, Kastarak went back to his patient, took some final tests. Bloodpressure and heartrate appeared fine. A speedy cognitive exam showed some sluggishness, but nothing too concerning. Reflexes all fine.

“We will discharge you into the care of Ensign Yasmeen Kiran. Do you consent?”

Atillos’ antennae perked at the notion of discharge. Though he loathed the idea of someone caring for him, it was less offensive than spending another moment confined to a biobed. “Yeah,” he waved a hand, “I consent.”

“It appears you suffered a concussion when you fell and injured your head. Recovery time is usually a day or two, but may take a bit longer. For the next ten hours, you must avoid sleep. Eat light, drink lots of water. Any indication that your symptoms are getting worse, contact us. We have given Ensign Kiran clear instructions for your care.”

He didn’t catch half of what Kastarak said. Something about no sleep and lots of water? It sounded dreadful. But he supposed it was the price to pay for picking a fight with a relay. Sooner than to attempt words and reveal his inattention, Atillos hummed.

“You may access the symptom list and care list on your personal pad. Please check with those at regular intervals. Please return in three days for a check up. You are off duty until then. I will inform your superiors. Do you have any questions?”

– Dr Kastarak (Ensign).

“Just one,” Atillos wagged a finger and produced another lopsided grin, “can I go now?” In his sluggishness and growing fatigue, it seemed pieces of his personality were slowly reappearing. If all went well, it wouldn’t be long before he was hurling quips and dirty looks at passersby.

[O]Bridge to Sickbay.[O]

The message emerged from a local comm panel, effectively concluding the exchange between Engineering and Medical. At least… for now.

[O]Are we prepared to receive casualties?[C]

— NEnsigns Kiran and Rassih


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