June 20th, 2007

Medical condition of underfed boy and British police procedures

Hi folks,

I have a few questions regarding 1) a hungry boy, 2) a boy in a police station, and 3) police procedures. I haven't done any searches because these situations are so specific, but any search tips would be appreciated.

The setting is England in early 1976.

1) A relatively thin, emotionally unstable ten-year-old boy is extremely depressed and doesn't eat or move around much for a week. What sort of condition would he be in at the end of the week, and what sort of foods would be given to him to bring him back to health?

2) The same ten-year-old boy is found unconscious on some train tracks in London and brought to a police station. He tells them his first name, but says he doesn't have a last name. He also says he doesn't know who his parents are. What would the police do with him, and how easy would it be for him to escape from them if he really wanted to get away?

3) Two young men are arrested in Sheffield for stealing two pillows from a hotel. When they are brought into the station, what would the procedure be?  Might they be held overnight? If so, what might the cell they were held in look like?

Thanks in advance!

Immediate treatment for suspected gunshot wound, ambulance supplies

Setting: Current day, small town just outside Seattle, WA.

Google searches: Gunshot wound treatment, on-scene treatment, triage, etc., none with the tiny specific details I'm looking for.

The situation: A man was holding a woman hostage, the situation escalated until police had to shoot him. The woman got out more or less okay but had been hit by a stray bullet in the shoulder. However, it turns out that she was just grazed and the wound was treated and dressed on scene (there was an ambulance standing by).

So my question is - what is the exact procedure when treating something of this nature when you don't know what it is yet? All I can picture are movies I've seen where the person's shirt has to be cut off of them. I just need some idea of exactly what happens from point A of my character getting outside to safety and to the waiting paramedic, to a few moments later at point B when the medic determines that it was only a very minor wound. What would they do to get a look at it - cut her shirt off? Unbutton it if there are buttons? Just roll up a sleeve if they're short? Would they be applying pressure to the wound while they do it? Would anything else be done (preparations for taking her to the hospital and such) prior to them seeing the wound and determining it was very minor?

And then one last question - there also happened to be an ER doctor on scene (a hostage who was let go). He gets blood on his hand while near, and wants to wipe it off. What would he grab out of the ambulance to clean up with?

hazards of fording the Mississippi in the 19th century

Hi. For a short fiction story, I am wondering how to go about researching pioneer life in Iowa. What I most want to know is about the crossing of the Mississippi River going westward into Iowa and the hazards thereof. I am starting from scratch and so need to find out stuff like what  years would this have been in, would it have been in a Conestoga Wagon or otherwise, and about the lives of white, American teenage girls who were part of famlies that did this. My story is about a girl who accidentally dies while fording the river -- drowned? crushed? -- and has remained at the site ever since as a ghost, attempting to save other girls from a similar fate.

police/law hierarchy & abbreviations

i'm in the brainstorming/research part of my story and i want to learn more about the hierarchy and abbreviations used in the police (and law) departments, specifically homicide. for example, "DA Smith" stands for "District Attorney Smith". I want to get all of the abbreviations and status stuff right. could someone point me in the direction of an online glossary or something similar?

i've searched for crime/law abbreviations/terminology, police glossary, and every combination of those on google and wikipedia without luck. :/

thanks!