December 19th, 2008

earth n' sky

Transportation and hospital care in mass casualty incidents, also medical slang

When: I'm thinking early- to mid-nineties, but it could easily be moved up or down a decade or so if needed.
Where: Don't quite know; southeastern United States, in a very rural area.
Searched: I read the wiki page on "triage", as well as googling several combinations of "triage", "medical slang", "southern U.S.", etc.

I found one huge compilation that was pretty informative, but mostly useless because it doesn't separate between regions (or sometimes countries). If you're interested, look here: The rest has been a bust.

Basically, the set-up is an incident that leaves involves a good number of people (I'm thinking 20-40). Right now, it's going to be a pretty serious automobile pileup, that leaves one or two dead on the scene, a handful in Priority 1 situations, where they need immediate assistance, and the majority with non-life-threatening injuries.

There's a hospital about fifteen minutes away, but it's pretty small (think 10 double-bed rooms, 2-patient capacity ICU, etc. - I don't know if that sounds feasible, but this building should be pretty small) and unprepared for major trauma and surgery. The next nearest hospital/trauma center should be at least an hour (preferably more) away. My questions:

1.) In the absence of helicopter transportation, EMS personnel would just have to try and sort out the Priority 1 patients and rush them to the small hospital, right? At least to be stabilized until better services were available?

2.) In what ways would treatment and technology in such a small hospital differ from bigger ones? What could probably not be easily treated? More specifically, what kind of injuries would move patients from Priority 1/Red levels into the Black "probably going to die, go ahead and give up so we can work on other patients" level? Where is the line drawn?

3.) What kind of slang could an EMS member use to communicate to the head nurse that he thought a patient had gone beyond saving during the ambulance ride? The phrase "going black" keeps popping into my head, but that sounds like he's already dead, and I think it would be pretty insensitive to say around the other patients. The list I linked to gave a good example- "Code Azure"- but can you think of any others? Does it just depend on the hospital?

4.) When a patient is considered too far gone, where would they be moved to? An empty room? Would such a small facility have the time or supplies to give such a patient painkillers? Or would they just be left on their own somewhere?

I would appreciate any help!
Random - Flowered Books

Traditional New England Decor

I'm reaching back to my memories of Trading Spaces, and I can't quite recall.

What sort of decor would constitute a traditional New England style?

I've Googled every combination of New England decor, tradition, housewares, curtains, and so on, but all I'm getting is ads for kitschy little shops that sell weather vanes and miniature carvings of lighthouses.

The house in question is a grey, 3 story clapboard with stone accents, that dates back to 1899.

All I can think of is toile curtains, but I'm fairly sure that is French provincial, not New England, and none of my many copies of Southern Living are any help either.

Pictures would be great, but anything at all that might be traditional fabrics or colors would be great.

Keep in mind, this is a very nice house, and so the decor should be tasteful and understated, but still obviously very nice.
Excused from Saving Universes

1750s gift-giving and -receiving etiquette

A minor detail, really, but not knowing bugs me: what would English mid-18th century gift etiquette have been like?

The scene: a young nobleman visits a family of equal status he has friendly ties with. I need him to give the daughter of the house a present that is meant as an innocent courtesy, but could be misinterpreted as the start of a courtship (I'm thinking a necklace or something similar), especially as they end up married much later.

1) Would the presents be opened when the giver is still there or would they be set aside for later?
2) Is the necklace suitable for my purpose?
3) I'm assuming the gift to the father would be tobacco and/or something alcoholic, is that credible or am I way off?
4) What would be a good gift for the mother? Or wouldn't she get anything at all for obscure etiquette reasons?
5) Would an infant get any presents? If yes, what would they be?

I wikied and googled 1700s, 1750s, England, gifts, presents, etiquette, Christmas and similar things in various combinations, but couldn't find anything useful, not even whether Christmas gifts were common then at all, or whether he should simply bring them as visitor's gifts.

ETA: Thank you all for your helpful input! The only question left to answer now is #1.
Canon necrophilia

Early 1930s Canada, flying lessons for a woman

Terms used: pilot's licence, Canada, Canadian aviation, Canadian aviation history, female pilots, 1930s aircraft, learning to fly 1930s, Eileen Vollick, variations on the above.

A husband in 1930s Canada would like to have his wife given flying lessons, for leisure. They're well off, though not extraordinarily rich. He doesn't own a plane, but friends of his do. He's also a trained pilot himself who hasn't flown since World War I. I've seen from examples of early Canadian female pilots that it's not impossible to learn privately. Is it going to be too expensive?

What are some of the formalities the husband would have to go through in finding an instructor, filling in forms for her to learn? What sort of aircraft would she be likely to learn on? How much would she have to study information out of books as against spending time in the plane? What would be covered in the first few lessons?

Thank you!

Concealing flammable materials/gasoline

Time/Setting: Texas, 1987

A group goes to a small church under the pretense of attending to a wedding ceremony, but are actually planning to burn it down. I have it in mind that they can start the fire with the lit candles that are already in the church, but I also want a character to sneak in flammable materials to help it spread. My idea was that he could conceal a flammable liquid in a wine or champagne bottle and then pour it out. (I know wine and champagne won't start a blaze.) I was thinking gasoline--would a wine bottle be a feasible container? Would another fluid be better? (Anything that could be found in a hardware store would do--the characters are poor but willing to steal.)

I've googled variations of "gasoline storage" "flammable liquid storage" and "gasoline in glass" and gotten results selling gas cans, laboratory safety instructions and, um, song lyrics.

ETA: Thank you all for your helpful replies! A flask with high proof alcohol seems the way to go.
old times good times

spanish language equivalent of 'bush league'

I've searched "bush league" equivalent phrase spanish and similar variations. Literal translation is not what I want, obviously liga de arbusto is no help. :P Hence my difficulties.

Time is present day, setting is New York/Baltimore. The character is a Puerto Rican native who is 35 years old and has lived primarily in the (continental) US since he was 19, with reasonably frequent visits home. He's fairly fluent in English, but is still plainly more comfortable with Spanish. He speaks both languages on a regular basis at work.


Is there a Spanish (Puerto Rican Spanish, if that makes a difference in this particular case) equivalent to the English phrase "bush league"? In general this phrase means "substandard, bad, amateur". It has pretty accusatory connotations; i.e. you might use it to call out what you perceived as a 'cheap shot', not just something that was poorly done due to a lack of skill. I need my character to throw a phrase like this at one of his coworkers, but he's in a lot of pain and is pretty pissed off at the time, so he's probably going to be shouting at the guy in Spanish and not English.

Does such a phrase exist?

(And remember that this guy is 35-- whatever he's saying shouldn't be something associated with kids, you know? No PR Spanish equivalent of "n00b, headsh0t!111!11" or whatever. :P )

Thanks in advance, detailers!