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Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries [Paperback]

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Item description for Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries by David W. Page...

From murder/mystery to medical fiction - from trauma, mass casualties, or blunt trauma, surgeon and trauma expert Dr. David W. Page is a writer's best friend.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.96 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2007
Publisher   Behler Publications
ISBN  1933016418  
ISBN13  9781933016412  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 03:10.
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More About David W. Page

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Page is Professor of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine and Director of Student Programs in Surgery, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA. He is a general surgeon with experience in trauma care, critical care medicine and has won numerous teaching awards from Tufts medical students and Baystate surgical residents, including Outstanding Teaching in the Clinical Sciences Award for 2004. Dr. Page has an MFA degree from the University of Southern Maine and co-wrote Code Blue - A Writer's Guide to Hospitals, including the ER, OR, and ICU with Keith Wilson, MD.

David W. Page was born in 1943.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
2Books > Subjects > Medicine > Specialties > Emergency Medicine
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Medical > Medicine > Internal Medicine > Emergency
4Books > Subjects > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Genre Fiction > General
6Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Writing Skills

Reviews - What do customers think about Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries?

Anecdotes, please  Sep 5, 2006
Anecdotes from this author's experience would be more valuable than general statements. What does the injured person feel--what has the doctor heard people say about their injuries? What could other characters see?

For example if a person is choked, what happens first? Skin colour? Do the veins pop? How long does it take to die of asphyxiation? Skin colour at death?
If a person has frost bite what does s/he feel? What does someone else observe? How do these symptoms change?
How long can a shipwrecked person float in the sea before dying?

The Glasgow Coma Scale can be used by any writer describing levels of unconsciousness.

The feelings and reactions of the characters are the stuff of fiction. This book read like a basic text for an emergency room physician. Fine if your character is a doctor. Not so good if your story takes place elsewhere.
A handy, quick reference  Mar 9, 2005
...for writers of murder mysteries and dark fiction, Body Trauma is concise in its detailing of injuries. While not a complete reference for all bodily harm, it is still a great reference for those emergency "I need to know how to describe this wound" moments which can occur in writing.

Page's book is a great filler for forensic and basic medical information, but it does have a few draw backs. One of these being the fact that shock and its effects are not taken into consideration. Another draw back is that some medical terminology is not very well defined and may require the reader to seek a medical dictionary.

Overall, Body Trauma is good as a quick reference but if you are in need of a more detailed account for your writing then seek it elsewhere.
Unshocking!  May 6, 2002
Amazing -- a book about traumatic injuries that neglects any discussion of shock. I've had to borrow my partner's anatomy & physiology text for that part. There's some good basic info here, but I'll need to look elsewhere (& you will too) for detailed information on the kinds of wounds a character might sustain in sword fights or the treatments your characters might receive before the advent of modern Western medical techniques. Better news if your story takes place in the contemporary urban industrial world, with a modern emergency room or trauma center. But when it comes down to it, for most situations, this book isn't going to replace every good writer's necessary tool: research, research, research.
Wanted more crunchy bits  Dec 17, 2001
There is a lot of good information in this book, but there were several lacks that made it less useful than I would have liked. Number one, it's not that useful if you're writing period fiction. I understand if this was beyond the scope of the author's undertaking, but some historical information would've helped me a lot.

Worse yet, especially as the book goes on, sometimes it begins to seem conventional, or to describe common scenarios, where fiction is concerned with the uncommon. For example, at one point it says "It takes an impressive hit to break the flat part of the shoulder blade." Like what? A blow with a club from a particularly strong person? A gunshot? I don't know. Worse yet, I was considering a scenario in which a character suffered a hip fracture in a fall. If the book had a section about falls (it doesn't), my questions would probably be answered, but as it is, information on hip fractures is really only given for fractures in the elderly---the common scenario. Plus, most of the information on battery/domestic violence is probably already known to anyone who has taken an introductory psychology course in college.

Especially in the last chapters (domestic violence, torture, etc)., the book is pretty thick with "flavor text" that doesn't do a whole lot to impart the technical information I bought the book for. I would prefer the author had zapped all the Hemingway quotes if it would have let me have a section on falls and other massive impacts, or even just known what, if anything, could break the shoulder blade or hip of a young, healthy person.

This book has helped me at times. The chapters on head, chest, and abdominal injuries, and the one on temperature injuries are particularly good. I only wish it had been more dense with information and considered more of the unusual viewpoints common in fiction.

Generally very useful  Oct 23, 2000
Like most of the "Howdunit" series, this is a useful volume that every aspiring mystery writer should own. It's full of helpful, often detailed descriptions of various types of wounds and injuries, how they're treated, and, if they're not immediately fatal, whether they could lead to death or long-term disability. The chapter on torso injuries was especially good: it's not intuitively obvious to a non-medical person (like me) what the consequences of a particular type of wound or blow would be, and this made it much clearer. I liked the author's use of quotations from mystery and adventure writers to illustrate his points. And, although the tone is fairly dry, I found this volume easier going than others in the series, mostly because he used comparisons effectively and included easy-to-understand graphics.
Some quibbles:
1. The book is very uneven. Some chapters are detailed and comprehensive, while I found others sketchy: for example, the description of types of gunshot wounds was a good general overview, but it didn't give enough specific information to answer the question I had. A chapter-by-chapter list of references, or suggestions for further reading, would have been useful too.
2. The author occasionally veers off into "Here's a nifty idea for your mystery novel." Some of them ARE indeed nifty ideas, but I'd never use them, because I'm sure the first person to read this book already has! I think the book would have been more useful to more writers if he'd just stuck to providing the facts.

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