Saturday, 21 July 2012

Positional Asphyxia (Aka: The Wonders of Research)

Having finally finished my first rough draft, I finally now know where the story is going to go, what is going to happen, and thus what I need to know about. Therefore, I find after the first draft the perfect time to do my little bits of research in more detail.

I started tonight by spending half an hour just looking into the requirements of becoming a security guard, just to make sure I wasn't making a complete idiot of myself with one of my characters, and hopefully to add just a little bit of detail which will give my story flavour.

In my research, I came across this very useful bit of information, which I thought I would share with you all:

Positional Asphyxia (restraint asphyxia) can be defined as obstruction of breathing as a result of restraint technique. It occurs when the position of a person's body interferes with their ability to breath. If this is not recognised, death can occur from asphyxia or suffocation. Any body position that interferes with breathing can cause death.
For further information about the risk factors, how a security officer can identify the signs and preventative measures, please click here.

I was intrigued about the possibility of people who could not tell when someone has stopped breathing and died. I was also very glad that they pointed out that interfering with breathing can cause death. It has cleared up a lot of issues I have had over the years. No more dead boyfriends to hide under the bed, for one thing.

But in my desire for thoroughness of research, I did not stop there. I went on to 'click here' and read the full article. To share with you all the astounding knowledge I have now gained, let me tell you the signs security officers should pay close attention to in order not to misdiagnose someone not breathing:

1. A person telling you he/she cannot breathe
2. Gurgling/gasping sounds indicating blockage of the airway
3. Lips, hands, face discoloured blue due to lack of oxygen
4. Increasing panic, prolonged resistance
5. Sudden tranquillity – an active, loud, threatening, violent, abusive person suddenly becoming quiet and tranquil, not moving

Personally I think you should rely on 2 and 3, as 1 and 5 are really just cheating. And is 'tranquil' really the word we are now using for someone who has just asphyxiated?

However, it has made for a nice little scene in my book. See, one should never underestimate the joys of doing research.

As to editing my own work, I am now in the middle of chapter 4, and to be honest, not totally wanting to kill myself just yet. Am also doing the rather painstaking and annoying thing of plotting out all my action on a calendar to make sure all the dates and days line up. Unfortunately, my first day reference is about five chapters in, and my first fixed date is a few chapters after that (end of the school term). So I will have to work backwards from both of those. But it will be worth it to make sure I don't have two Wednesdays in one week or a school term that happens to be 20 weeks long.

On Sunday I will beginning my next novel, whether I've finished editing or not. I am still of two minds as to which book to work on: go straight into the sequel, while all the action is still clear in my mind, or give myself a break and do something completely different so that I can perhaps be refreshed?

I would like to do the latter, but the big thing that stops me is Isobelle Carmody. Anyone who started her Obernewtyn series around two decades ago (first one published 1987), and is still waiting for the seventh book will know my frustration. She took a break to do other series in between, and I managed to finish high school, do a few degrees, and write my own book while waiting. Especially annoying as the last two books have meant to be 'the very last book', which kept getting split in two. (Like the last Harry Potter movie, but even worse, since you don't already know the ending).

On the other hand, I'm only going to be taking a two week break, not a decade.

Any recommendations, suggestions, scientific or otherwise research on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

But for now, I need sleep.



1 comment: