I was digging a vertical shaft and had a little ... incident ... that resulted in what I think was four dwarfs falling various distances and/or being crushed from above. Three of them didn't make it to the hospital in time, but the forth is there now resting.

I'm a newbie to the game and am playing in "safe" surrounding, so this if my first injury to deal with.

My (single) doctor diagnosed, cleaned and sutered, then seemed to stop. But the health status screen shows the dwarf needs bones setting, dressing and immobilization. The doctor's labours were set to be only the medical ones as soon as the incident happened, but the doc is walking around with "no job" at the moment.

On closer inspection it seems my hospital zone has no plaster powder (it has all the other things listed, including a traction bench), but I have plaster powder (after a hunt I found several bags in a stockpile near my kiln).

Is the fact the plaster isn't in the hospital preventing my doctor from using it?
If so, how do I get it transported to the hospital? I made the plaster (game) months ago so they've had plenty of time to move it already, why hasn't it been moved?

  • Does your doctor have all the medical labors turned on? Bone work is a separate labor than diagnosing and cleaning.
    – C. Ross
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 12:19
  • Yep, all of them are on (and only the medical labours are on, so he concentrates). I only have the one doctor, if that matters as well.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 12:28
  • 1
    My dwarves will never put any plaster powder in my hospital, but my doctor still puts on casts, so I don't think that's your problem. Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 12:35
  • @Ulla - Thanks, that narrows the problem down a bit. But means I'm out of ideas. Maybe I'm just not being patient enough?
    – DMA57361
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 13:20
  • 3
    There is currently a bug that prevents plaster powder from automatically being stored at the hospital, but you could create a plaster powder stockpile in your hospital zone, select "take from stockpile" (q -> t), and pull from your other stockpile.
    – sjohnston
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


The following items may be required to set the bone: traction bench, splints, plaster powder, bucket, cloth, water source. Make sure all of these are available.

If you have all the materials you should need and still nothing is happening, you could also try dismantling his bed, as this can cause the patient to leave the hospital and restart the healing process. Reinjury can also cause a re-diagnosis and treatment.

  • I had everything in place as needed already, and removed and rebuilt his bed. Doctor still seems to be wandering about so I went to do something else, next time I check the doctor is at work. So it might of helped. Possibly the level of the doctor effects this? He's not highly skilled (just 2 levels in each from embark).
    – DMA57361
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 18:19
  • AFAIK, the level of a given skill only affects speed when the dwarf is actively performing the associated task. Perhaps the doc was out dealing with his own needs (food, booze sleep, etc).
    – sjohnston
    Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 18:25

When medical treatment fails you have two choices.

  • Reinjury, which has a chance of restarting treatment. It also sometimes puts a gravely wounded dwarf out of my his misery.
  • Wait, dwarves will (sometimes) heal on their own, though this will be much slower than actual medical treatment, especially for bone problems.

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