Medical Technology

Available Technology

This section of the Wiki deals with the technology avaiulable on Pern. Below is a list of common pieces of technology that can be used in day to day RP.

  • Stethoscope
  • Eye, Nose, and Ear Scopes
  • Speculae
  • Antibiotics - Very BASIC topical gel and very BASIC oral medication are available. It is not distributed frequently and is not potent enough to stand on its own without proper wound care.
  • Antivirals - Again, very BASIC anti-virals exist in the form of crude vaccines. These are NOT applied in day to day medicine, and are produced only when there's need, such as an outbreak.
  • IVs - There are sterile, plastic IVs and plastic tubing to be found on Pern, but no medication to put inside of them. IVs are used primarily for nutrient or fluid drips, and should not be used for anything else without craft staff approval.
  • Metal hypodermic needles and Needlethorn.
  • Reuseable syringes, both plastic and glass.
  • Dolphins (See Below)
  • X-Rays (See Below)
  • Defibrillators (See Below)

Unavailable Technology

Below is a list of items that healers currently do NOT have access to on Pern, as well as explinations where appropriate.

  • Any kind of body scanner, such as CAT, PET or MRI scans.
  • Any kind of blood oxygenation machine
  • Any blood filtration equipment
  • EEGs
  • EKGs
  • Sonograms
  • Analysis machines for biological samples like blood, urine, feces. This includes equipment to test for blood types.
  • Anything that emits radiation.


In regards to dolphins and medicine:

  • The dolphins on Pern are not the typical, terrestrial dolphins. They have been heavily modified at the genetic level and have near human intelligence now.
  • AIVAS holds the dolphins' diagnostic capabilities in high regard, per The Dolphins Of Pern.
  • Dolphins use SONAR to do their medical work. Sound waves penetrate various tissues to various degrees, enabling the dolphins to see into a human host to a varying degree, and with some detail.
  • Dolphins can begin to distinct between a tumor or other foreign mass and a VIABLE fetus around one month from fertilization, which is usually about two weeks after ovulation, according to most medical experts.
  • Dolphins can make very accurate distinctions between a viable fetus and a foreign body at two months after fertilization.
  • Dolphins can also detect things like bacterial infections beneath the skin, such as Tetanus, or other voids such as fisculae.
  • Dolphins MIGHT be able to see breaks if they're large enough and on large, long bones, but they cannot see partial fractures such as greenstick and hairline. Complete fractures and breaks might be visible, depending on the bone. Sonar does very poorly in terms of imaging bones, because the bone is so dense.
  • SONAR is LINE OF SIGHT, and does not move past bone easily. Trying to get any kind of an accurate read on the brain or anything in the thorassic cavity would be a massive crapshoot, and an almost guaranteed failure.
  • Unless it's an emergency or the patient is someone of importance, all visits to the dolphin halls would be scheduled by healers, and patients would always be accompanied by their attending. Dolphins have the SeaCrafters to work with too, and aren't always available.

X-Ray Machines

X-Ray technology does exist on Pern, but in very limited quantities, and they are only used for major medical situations. There are only three X-Ray machines on Pern, found here:

  • The main Healer Hall at Fort Hold
  • The secondary Healer Hall at Landing
  • The Dragonhealer Annex at Ierne

Because of the nature of X-Rays themselves, as well as the lack thereof availability of certain materials on Pern, please be aware of the following:

  • X-Rays are not taken for common injuries. Contrast film is difficult to produce and casual exposure to x-rays is dangerous.
  • X-Rays are administered by NPC surgeons who have trained in radiology as a secondary specialty. These NPCs will be played by HEC staff at all times unless otherwise approved. Journeymen can begin studying Radiology as a specialty, but only Senior Journeymen and Masters can use the x-ray machines without supervision.
  • All x-ray machines will be under observation at all times and kept under lock and key.
  • The machines themselves will be situated as far from the population of the facility they are located in as possible, preferably under ground or within the earth.
  • X-Rays should never be given to pregnant women.
  • X-Rays should never be repeatedly administered to the same patient.
  • Any patient reporting for an x-ray must be accompanied by a ranking healer that has authorized the proceedure.
  • The likelyhood of the more remote holds and werys having access to this technology is extremely slim.
  • These machines are in no way portable.

Fraille says, "HEC staff and the wizards have tried to achieve a balance between fun and realism with the way this technology is used on Pern. The fact of the matter is, sometimes, breaks heal crooked. There are all manner of RPable situations availbe with this setup, however, and we feel confident that people will enjoy it."


While this technology does exist on Pern, it is not portable, and only found in major infirmaries with a mostly stable power grid. Bear in mind that Pern has no EKGs or other sophisticated equipment to check a patient's heart rhythm before administering what is, in essence, a momentary blast of live electricity. Because of this, even using one is a gamble. RPable complications include, but are not limited to:

  • Burns
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Tissue damage
  • Death

Technology FAQ

Q. I have canonical proof from the books or errata that disagrees with the items on this page.

A. We realize that not everything on this page or in this Wiki is going to agree with the books. There's a great deal about PernWorld that doesn't necessarily agree with the books. The WizCorps have chosen to take the game in a certain direction. That having been said, the Craft Staff are always willing to listen to your comments. If you have something that you'd like considered for IC material, @mail Craft Staff and let us know.

Q. I've been RPing X and Y for a long time now. How should I handle this going forward?

A. Unfortuntely, about all we can do for it is sweep it under the rug. If it's something that's affecting you right now, approach Craft Staff with your question and we'll work it out as best we can. Some rules can be bent, and others can be broken. We'll do what we can.

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