“If you shock a flatline, I swear I will come to your home and beat you with a wet chicken.”Posted: March 3, 2011
I found this through the Detail Oriented livejournal community, which is dedicated to assisting writers in researching the details they want to put into their stories. Doctor Grasshopper is a doctor who blogs about medicine in fiction, and offers advice to writers about how to do scary things to their characters in a way that won’t cause people who know more than they do to either laugh or throw things. The blog was started when DrG was a med student. The blogger has an amusing writing style, and presents technical information in layman’s terms. The blogger also has the good sense to post a disclaimer at the bottom of every post with medical details, because one of the stupidest things people routinely do with the internet is make amateur diagnoses.
This post is all about electrical activity in the heart, the defibrillator, and what writers get wrong all the time. The paragraphs are short, which is good because nothing deters readers like a wall of text, especially when the information being presented is technically complicated. Important points and section headings within a post are bolded, and there are diagrams illustrating and embedded Youtube videos demonstrating. Also, I like the title, which is both informative of the content, and funny.
DrG starts with the recurringly erroneous TV scene, then explains under what circumstances the use of the defibrillator would be correct, then explains what should really happen when a character flatlines instead of using the defibrillator (the source of DrG’s rage).
There’s also a later follow-up post, all about CPR, with a collection of Youtube videos showing really bad resuscitation technique.