greywash (greywash) wrote in little_details,
greywash
greywash
little_details

Minor pedestrian versus car accidents and a little bit of German language & medical culture

My setting is present day (2013), Germany (Frankfurt am Main); technically Sherlock fandom but that's largely irrelevant; emergency room/A&E or other walk-in clinic where you might go after an accident. My character is John Watson, so he has a medical background and I'd like him be to some extent self-diagnosing—that part is plot relevant. I usually operate on the assumption that Sherlock canon universe is squishier than reality, what with all the ~magical science and everything, but I'd prefer to know how this works actually IRL and then squish from there, rather than just totally wing it.

Cut because there's sort of four questions on two different subjects and also because this is long (I feel like I've gotten halfway there on everything in here, *sigh*).

I'm looking for a plausible accident setup and plausible attendant minor injuries when being hit by a car that almost successfully brakes to miss you and wasn't going very fast to begin with. I actually know two people who've been in similar accidents, and I've found a few useful sources here and elsewhere, but I want to check my scenario so I can tweak it as necessary.

Right now, I have Watson chasing another character when he is hit side-on by a vehicle (maybe a delivery van, because I need to not take his legs out and he's not that short??) that is not going very fast for starters, and almost, but not quite, successfully stops before hitting him, besides. Based on my sources (below) I'm assuming that given a (tallish? does it need to be a van?) vehicle, a badly bruised/banged-up arm and torso on the side where he was hit and potentially a cracked rib or two is a believable set of injuries for 'hit by a slow-moving vehicle'; is it? The key thing here, and the thing that's making it hard to research, is that his injuries are painful, but essentially pretty minor. Vis-à-vis the logistics of the accident itself, would he be likely to lose his footing and slide up the hood, or fall to one side or the other, or just sort of stumble, or what? He is contextually highly motivated to get up and keep running, and I'd like an accident setup that lets him do that, even though I am assuming it'd hurt like hell.

The accident itself occurs off-screen, but it's referenced in several places, so I need to have a pretty clear idea how it went down. I also need to know to what extent someone with a medical background would be able to correctly self-diagnose; as in, is Watson likely to be able to tell he's not seriously injured, even if he's in loads of pain? Would he think he needed to go to the ER, or would someone else have to convince him? I'm also operating under the assumption that visually speaking, right after the accident, he would be red and scraped up, but strictly speaking no visible bruising yet—I'm not 100% sure on the timeline for bruising to develop, though I know it takes a little while.

Sources so far: a lot of the problem is that I'm stitching stuff together without really knowing enough about medicine to know what I'm doing; my apologies. There's a very similar incident in canon, though in that case Holmes was the person versus car and he jumps up, so it mostly just unbalances him rather than actually impacting him, and he's uninjured. As I mentioned, I also have two friends who've been in similar accidents; one was drunk and totally uninjured, but he mostly doesn't remember it; the other ended up with a cracked rib, but she's also a very petite person, and she could indeed walk right after, though everything hurt a lot. She doesn't remember very clearly what actually happened in terms of the accident, but it was a car only-just hitting her side-on in a crosswalk. I've also been digging through the car accidents, injuries to order, and medicine: injuries (misc) tags; all of which have been helpful but don't cover exactly this situation, but via which I found this news article, which indicates I'm good to go on a broken rib but in which the victim is elderly, as well as this article on Yahoo Answers. I did a site-search on l_d on "car pedestrian accident", which had some helpful stuff but still not quite what I'm looking for (this and this were the closest). I've also done a lot of Googling on cracked ribs and pedestrian versus car accidents under about twelve thousand different combinations of "car pedestrian accident injury", but I haven't found anything that both meets my narrative requirements with regard to the injury not being serious, but where the accident is related in sufficient detail.

Assuming that maybe-cracked ribs and nasty bruising is believable, I have a few questions about how it would be treated in Germany. I gather from WebMD, Medline and various l_d posts that in a U.S. emergency room, someone presenting similarly would be examined and sent home, told to ice it and take over-the-counter painkillers; if they had a really nice doctor they might be given a prescription for a heavier-duty, but non-opioid, painkiller to take if they need it. I also gather that it is very unlikely that they would be given an x-ray unless the doctor suspected more serious injuries, and that rib-wrapping is very much not advised, at present. I can't tell if they would be likely to get any other imaging, like an ultrasound or something. So, in Germany, would it go down basically the same way? Physical exam, no wrapping, probably no x-ray (other imaging?), potentially a prescription but mostly just OTC painkillers and ice?

Sources: Lots of overlap with the above—the l_d car accidents, injuries to order, and medicine: injuries (misc) tags, mostly; I've found a lot about broken ribs, but a lot of my problem is that I know from traveling abroad that medical care varies pretty widely from country to country and most English-language sources are for the U.S. or the U.K. I tried hacking a search with Google Translate but it was sort of a disaster, and I wouldn't know how much to trust the translation anyway.

The rest of this stuff is just scene coloring. First, just in case a prescription is necessary or likely, if a patient in a German emergency room is prescribed a painkiller, would he be given a paper scrip to take to a pharmacist, or would it be transferred electronically, or filled in the hospital, or what? And regarding the OTC painkiller option, would the recommendation be acetaminophen/paracetamol, or aspirin, or... other? Also, one of my sources indicated you purchase said over-the-counter painkillers in the pharmacy, as well, not just in any old corner store, so I understand that OTC here is not the same as OTC there; I just mean, a painkiller for which you do not need a prescription.

Sources: Googled for variations on "how to fill prescription in Germany", "filling prescription in Germany", "getting prescription in Germany", "emergency room pharmacy frankfurt", et cetera. "Your Guide to the German Healthcare System" on Expatica was pretty helpful, but doesn't give me answers that are quite as specific as I need them to be; it does indicate that paper scrips do exist in some circumstances and are pink, though I don't know if that applies to ER prescriptions.

Finally, I'm looking for a short, believable German hospital P.A./intercom announcement or small fragment thereof (both in German and an English translation). Right now I am sort of working off some variation of "may I have your attention please"—it doesn't have to be specifically medicine or hospital-related, it's just background shading, so just something that you might hear in the background in a German hospital.

Sources: Googled for various combinations of "intercom" and "announcement" and "German language" and "hospital", as well as synonyms. I found an actual linguistics article about communication in German hospitals that mentioned an intercom announcement beginning with "Your attention please", but the article is in English and the German-language transcripts don't contain that specific piece of text, and my German-language source is a little worried he's not capturing how it would be said in that setting. (That link is to Google Books, which is missing pages, but my university has access to the whole article and the German text of the announcement is indeed not included.) No German health care and hospitals tag over here yet, that I can find, but if I missed it somehow please do let me know; I skimmed the "germany (misc)" tag but didn't spot anything that looked very promising.

I'm American but obviously spending a lot of time writing in a British fandom, so I apologize if I swap back and forth between American and British terminology in here—I tried to stick with American terms just for consistency but I'm sure I slipped up on some.

Thank you very much in advance for any help or info you have—this community is always invaluable, and the assistance is very much appreciated. ♥
Tags: germany: health care and hospitals, ~car accidents, ~languages: german, ~medicine: injuries: broken bones
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