Karen (kcountess) wrote in little_details,

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Love this community, especially as I finally have questions to ask.

Basically the fanfic I'm working on focuses on the investigation of the death of a newborn infant abandoned at a church--the old baby-dumped-on-the-doorstep routine, except one that went very wrong, as the baby wasn't found in time.

So, two questions:

1) Anyone have an idea of how long would it take for an infant to die of hypothermia? The baby would be fairly well wrapped (dressed in a sleeper, wrapped in a receiving blanket and acrylic baby blanket, placed in a cardboard box), but average temperature at the time would be about 30-35 degrees fahrenheit. Likely the baby would have been given a small dose of cough medicine or something to keep her from crying (a Very Bad Idea, I know, but the parent doesn't)--an overdose/bad reaction to the medication could be a factor in the child's death as well.

2) When babies' handprints/footprints are taken after birth, do hospitals keep records of these? Computerized or otherwise? And any guesses on whether local law enforcement would have a copy of these records? I'm assuming hospitals keep these records on file, I'm mainly wondering about the extent of the organization of the files, and whether the police can search it on their own, or whether they'll have to contact the hospital's records department.

EDIT: Realized after a poster mentioned it that I should have added that the baby won't have been born in a hospital, but I'm assuming law enforcement still has to check, to rule out that lead, which is why I'm still wondering about the above. Sorry about that!

And of course if you can find any big logistical problems with either of these ideas, please let me know that as well. :-)

Thanks for the help!

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