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Security cameras in hospitals?

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ireth, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I'm doing a bit of tweaking to characters' backstory for my main WIP, and I need help with a few specific things. Namely, do hospitals have security cameras, and if so, are they in patients' rooms? Also, how long would they hold onto old footage?

    The incident in question -- a failed kidnapping of a young man's infant daughter shortly after his wife dies of puerperal fever -- happens ~17 years prior to the start of the novel. (The story itself is set on and just after Halloween of 2011; the failed kidnapping happened in late November of 1994.) The footage is not going to be actually looked at during the story, but it would be a good thing if my characters could say at any point in their lives, "I have proof of this happening, and you can find it there."
     
  2. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    Hospitals definitely have cameras. The Ottawa civic hospital has them in the halls, only by entrances/exits and a few of the main crossroad halls. They aren't allowed in bedrooms due to a privacy issue in Canada I believe. I'm not too sure. I know they keep them for at least five years, for sure, as my friends mother is a head nurse in ICU and told me a story a while ago that the cops had to go through some old security tapes from the hospital, from a gunning 5 years previous.

    I have no idea if they keep any longer then that. I almost think that after that point they might give them up to a third party to use as an archive/possible police evidence, or something. Maybe a security company might hold onto them?
     
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  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Good to know. The incident in my story happens in the UK (Leeds, to be specific); I have no idea if protocol is different there than Canada or the US.
     
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    In the UK Hospitals are only likely to have cameras in the common areas entrances and the public areas. Nowhere where "dignity" of patients could be compromised. There are security exceptions to this rule, like secure mental facilities [where cameras are in the patient's rooms]. Some places have cameras that can be activated only in an emergency in any area of hospital. My local hospital [which as service people as patients] has cameras out side every room and covering all the halls that can be turned on. I was there during a test and it was a little strange being given a Release form so they could keep the recording for training purposes.
    In your general security type cameras, I think there is a 30 day rule for keeping any security recordings so the tape couldn't be found at such a late date. Practically 7 days tape reuse wasn't unusually and some places only had 24hr loops.
    I hope copies have been made of a 17yo VHS tape, because that puppy ain't gonna play...
     
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  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Okay, so there wouldn't be a camera in any position to film the attempted kidnapping (the culprits are Fae, who hide under Glamour while they enter the room through a window, and leave the same way). With the iron and steel of the city as a whole disrupting the Glamour, the most that might be captured from outside are three roughly human-sized blurs. Which means poor Vincent might not have any concrete proof of his daughter's near-abduction after all, unless possibly he or his brother manages to tear off a piece of the culprits' clothes or something during the fight? Though, that would more than likely be confiscated as evidence by the police, so it's not like he could keep it to show to his daughter as she grows up to affirm her belief in said Fae. Hmmm.
     
  6. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    There would be standard CCTV cameras outside a Hospital, probably run by an external commercial firm, so Vincent might be able to get a copy from a sympathetic employee...
    20+ years ago outside CCTV cameras would probably be Black & White and by today's standards very poor quality, especially at night, maybe only half that of VHS tapes. If they had colour cameras, they would probably be even worse. Any type of Glamour spell is probably going to be enough to make anyone unidentifiable.
     
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  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    True, but that's still not going to help Vincent's case at all. Which is both a good and a bad thing, considering Vincent ultimately ends up in a psych ward for two months after freaking out about inhuman creatures trying to steal his baby, and even when he's let out people don't believe what happened to him. It'd be nice to have some concrete evidence that the kidnapping itself did happen, even if the culprits are believed to be normal humans. Especially since it would give his daughter something to prove what happened to her beyond word of mouth. Any thoughts on how I could make that happen? Perhaps something like a bit of blood from when one of the culprits is punched in the face and winds up bleeding blue or purple (depending on if the one bleeding is the full-Fae or one of two half-Fae). It might soak into a handkerchief or something when they're cleaning up afterward. I dunno, is that viable? I doubt it'd last for seventeen years, even if so. And it'd start to smell after a while, which is gross.
     
  8. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Well, there's always the possibility of him having a home movie camera.
     
  9. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    He wouldn't bring it to his wife's deathbed, though. That just seems cruel.
     
  10. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Wouldn't he take it to records his daughter's first days though.
     
  11. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Depends on how soon his daughter leaves the hospital. She's born healthy, so she might be able to leave the hospital within a few days, and the majority of the recording would happen at home. Vincent's wife falls ill nigh immediately, though, and she passes away about five days after giving birth. And as I said before, she wouldn't want a camera on her while she's dying. (In any case, the camera would be dropped or put aside during the kidnapping attempt anyway, since Vincent's brother resorts to using his fists to fight the culprits off [and Vincent himself has his hands full of his baby].)
     
  12. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Blood can last for ages decades even and still be successfully tested for DNA and the like, so I don't see why a handkerchief with blood on it couldn't be kept as proof. Maybe not legal proof, but as evidence for personal belief [chain of custody, cross contamination and the like would almost certainly make it useless under the Law]. Also I doubt a blood soaked handkerchief would smell if it dried out fairly quickly. There would be an odour to be sure but not an awful stink. To me comes across as sort of metallic and not that unpleasant. Those sort of bad smells usually come as a bi-product of decomposing fats in the body.
     
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  13. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    That could work, then! I'm also toying with other things that could also get blood on them, like perhaps a mug of tea or something that Vincent or his brother smashes in the face of one of the Fae. Not sure a punch to the face would draw enough blood, unless maybe the Fae's nose is bloodied or broken by it. I'll keep poking at things and see what works best. ^^
     
  14. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    A bloody nose can produce a surprising amount of blood. A handkerchief, perhaps a Fae handkerchief drawn to staunch the blood, might get grabbed in the shuffle. It could be half-covered in blood from a single bloody nose event, believe me.

    Then they'd have a strange handkerchief (perhaps monogrammed or it's material is magical in some mild way) that has purple/blue blood on it.

    EDIT:

    Worth asking: Does Fae blood change colors when it dries? Human blood turns a ruddy brown, sometimes darker. It's one of the best ways to distinguish real blood from fake with the naked eye. Fake blood stays red.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
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  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    That'd work! I'm not sure if the material would be magic, since Fae's power doesn't typically work that way, but a bloody kerchief is definite proof.

    I imagine full Fae would turn greenish as it dries due to a high copper content. Not sure what part-Fae blood would do, given it has both copper and iron in roughly equal amounts, hence the mingled color.
     
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  16. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    I think it turning greenish brown would be great because it wouldn't look like blood but having it tested could reveal it as blood, but of indefinite origin. I assume a lab-tech who did the testing would think some chemical got mixed with the blood that leached the iron and added the copper, causing the color and making the source indeterminate. It would be proof for you character of both the event and the Fae in general.
     
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  17. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Ooh, that sounds perfect. I'll definitely make note of it. Thanks again!
     

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