Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Also, if I may point out from the civil service angle, there will be a lot of people simply "missing" because either they were simply looked over, human error occurred, or, to reiterate, there would only be a paper record as some people just fall through the cracks.

Hell, in my own job where all claims are supposed to be handled online only, a good ten - twenty % still come in on paper and have to be handled to old way.
 
AFAIK no state today is having all medical records of all citizens in a central digital storage. Doctors in all democratic countries are sworn to privacy so centralized data will be problematic at best.
The NHS in the UK is quite close to this now in OTL, and doctors have no problem with the privacy angle. I think the system is available down to First Responder and Emergency Ambulance Paramedics, it's certainly available across all GP surgeries, City Centre Walk In Centres and all Hospitals to allow the Doctors and Nurses treating you to see your full medical history. Plus each individual has limited access to their own records via the EMIS Patient Access System, which also allows you to order repeat prescriptions, book an appointment etc.

However I would agree that with what would be at best late 1970's technology holding an entire countries medical records in any form of searchable form would be next to impossible. I remember my school getting an early desktop computer in 1979, and while for us at 16 / 17 it was great and we got to learn some simple programming there was no easy interface system, though I think there was a mouse, but before Windows, and MS Office.
 
The NHS in the UK is quite close to this now in OTL, and doctors have no problem with the privacy angle. I think the system is available down to First Responder and Emergency Ambulance Paramedics, it's certainly available across all GP surgeries, City Centre Walk In Centres and all Hospitals to allow the Doctors and Nurses treating you to see your full medical history. Plus each individual has limited access to their own records via the EMIS Patient Access System, which also allows you to order repeat prescriptions, book an appointment etc.

However I would agree that with what would be at best late 1970's technology holding an entire countries medical records in any form of searchable form would be next to impossible. I remember my school getting an early desktop computer in 1979, and while for us at 16 / 17 it was great and we got to learn some simple programming there was no easy interface system, though I think there was a mouse, but before Windows, and MS Office.
I am not sure what kind of backup solutions were available, but until now I only have seen things mentioned were you expect to regularly access the data (high read and write speeds). But that is not necessarily what this is. In my mind that is the basic data (bloodtype, maybe some common illnesses, name, description (like on your personal ID/drivers license (without the foto (although for important persons, they might be seperately stored)), etc). Something that is regularly updated? Yes, but likely only the important parts. The main update cycle (excluding high level government and military) might be as long as ten years.

Considering The data is mostly standardized (in my mind), abbreviations (+ a key, because you do not want to rely on the knowledge surviving in an emergency backup) could drastically reduce the amount of storage necessary.

So we end up with something that while not up to date, is close enough to help rebuild the data and, most importantly, identify important people (who might have lost their ID during the catastrophe).

And then there is the last thing: Ships can be mindboggling big. The amount of room you have on a semi modern freighter is immense, and assuming the hospitalships are of a similar size, they might just have enough room to store that stuff. Hideously expensive, but this is an undertaking of a major government who actually gives it high priority for some reason, so cost is not that much of an issue (also, we only have somewhere below 10 of those backups (3 ships, as well as likely some landbased).
 
I don't think it would be impossible to have basic medical files in storage at that time period.
Governments certainly had mainframe computers and terrabytes of data storage by the mid-70's, and even more when laser disks came out.
While hospitals and schools did not have computers at all in the 70's, governments most certainly did.
 
This is in storage not continuous use. Even reel to reel tape from back then could be used. You could have them on a hard drive that is not connected to the system and only used for when an update occurs. Basically any storage medium that would be used that could survive during the voyage in an intact way and be able to be updated or replaced by a newer system when they finish their mission and return home.
 
Actually, have had a thought. Would the ships be classed as "legitimate wartime targets"?

Sure they are hospital ships, but they are also now hospital ships that are also governmental offices with the intention of continuation of government, and if conflict reached a point where they are doing that, then the rules have already gone out the window.
 
I am going to take the last update as being from the POV of the Unreliable Narrator on the part of the computer records.
At most the records should consist of name, ID number, parents name, blood type, eye color, known allergies, any underlying medical problems like cancer or diabetes among other things.
I am totally ignorant on the digitized visual technology at this point so I am not going to guess about X-Ray records being stored.
The keeping of computer records on the ship sounds like it was one of those good ideas at the time but not thoroughly thought out as the expense of continuing to update the records will keep growing, the better solution would be to keep more complete records in a blast proof bunker deep somewhere in the Hartz Mountains.

I am always glad to see Aunt Marcella interact with the younger characters as she is a font of common sense advice and more importantly unconditional love for them.
Just like how Manfred von Richthoffen has become "Opa" to the none blood children Marcella has become the "Oma" to them.
As Marcella's time wind down she must be very happy about Marie having the same love of sowing she does and that will continue on afterwards.
 
Actually, have had a thought. Would the ships be classed as "legitimate wartime targets"?

Sure they are hospital ships, but they are also now hospital ships that are also governmental offices with the intention of continuation of government, and if conflict reached a point where they are doing that, then the rules have already gone out the window.
Even in such a case, you want the country you attack to actually be able to surrender, so leaving thise ships alone PARTICULARLY if they are used for continuation of government is actually quite useful for an opponent in a total war if it gets that far - you glass the capital (or precision-bomb the government offices) until the authority passes on to whoever is on the ships, then box in the hospital ships and demand surrender.

Not that it would matter in a full scale exchange ITTL or IOTL but this may be a part of someone's planning, never to be implemented.
 
A full scale exchange OTL in the late 70s till 80s would have been nothing but a wipe of Germany off the map. ITTL we only know that Germany and the USA have bombs but not how many, what are the delivery methods, what is the yield...

It does not take too many bombs to have Germany damaged beyond any senseful repair. Even TTL Germany 2.000 bombs in the 500kt range are more than enough.
 
ITTL we only know that Germany and the USA have bombs but not how many, what are the delivery methods, what is the yield...
Not sure about the yield, but Germany ITTL has used submarine launched ballistic missiles with chemical and fuel/air warheads to attack Japan, so the delivery method is pretty much the same as OTL.
 
A full scale exchange OTL in the late 70s till 80s would have been nothing but a wipe of Germany off the map. ITTL we only know that Germany and the USA have bombs but not how many, what are the delivery methods, what is the yield...

It does not take too many bombs to have Germany damaged beyond any senseful repair. Even TTL Germany 2.000 bombs in the 500kt range are more than enough.
The UK has bombs as well. And V bombers.
 
I don't think it would be impossible to have basic medical files in storage at that time period.
Governments certainly had mainframe computers and terrabytes of data storage by the mid-70's, and even more when laser disks came out.
While hospitals and schools did not have computers at all in the 70's, governments most certainly did.
The Canadian government still uses mainframes that were new in the 80’s and compatible with earlier mainframes. Partially due to inertia but also because they are good at handling lots of data. In the eighties all the tape drives and storage tapes for census data were housed in one office building.
 
I wonder if there is going to be a German version of "The World at War " because more and more of the senior leaders are dead or about to die or in the case of Grand Admiral Jacob von Schmidt not mentally able to contribute.
 
Tape is also something that's very good at storing data. I won't bother you with the description of someone who uses them on a regular basis, but I seem to recall the issue was not the storage, but the rate the information could be read/written.

As it is, I expect all that information, probably composed by names, dates of birth, and a brief medical history of the patient to be in loooong reels of tape, probably inside a container to protect it from... loads of stuff. If we fudge the dates a bit, it might be an early version of something similar to the DLT, or the IBM 3480, or even 9-track tapes, probably with a storage around 100MB per unit.

Well, that's how I would plan it, but...
 
Tape is also something that's very good at storing data. I won't bother you with the description of someone who uses them on a regular basis, but I seem to recall the issue was not the storage, but the rate the information could be read/written.

As it is, I expect all that information, probably composed by names, dates of birth, and a brief medical history of the patient to be in loooong reels of tape, probably inside a container to protect it from... loads of stuff. If we fudge the dates a bit, it might be an early version of something similar to the DLT, or the IBM 3480, or even 9-track tapes, probably with a storage around 100MB per unit.

Well, that's how I would plan it, but...
The old reel-to-reel tape used then were probably 400 baud transfer. The amount of space needed was huge (don't know that they could store that much on the ship with the medical/food stores needed) we were glad when we got cassettes in the 90's.
 
The only possible method I could suggest for data storage given the era would be microfilm or fiche, a reader or two would fit in a ship no problem. The technology had been used in the 1870 siege of Paris, British and US armies used the technology for air delivery of forces mail home in the 40s.
 
Part 115, Chapter 1915
Chapter One Thousand Nine Hundred Fifteen



18th July 1969

Western Samoa

The stated mission of the hospital ships was to help stitch the Empire together, to make even people living in the most distant portions of it feel like they were a part of something bigger. There was also a substantial amount of international goodwill that they generated by responding to disasters regardless of politics. It was said that SMS Antonia and her sisters were worth a thousand Divisions for the work that they did, more than paying for themselves. Kiki was reminded of that by how busy she had been since the Antonia had arrived in Western Samoa.

The patient was huge, two meters tall and a hundred and forty kilograms. That was the first thing that Kiki noticed as she introduced herself to him. His paper file had been transferred from the clinic on the island and a fresh X-ray had been conducted that morning. So, they had all information was up to date.

“You broke your hip last year in a fall and were treated aboard the Marie Cecilie?” Kiki asked.

“You’re really a Doctor?” The man said with a disbelieving smile.

“Yes, and it only took me a decade” Kiki replied, “It says that we are removing the screws that have held your femur together.”

With that she looked back at the X-Ray that had been taken that afternoon and saw a healed fracture with orthopedic screws that were dwarfed by the size of the patient set into it. This time, when the SMS Antonia arrived, he had come aboard with a letter from his regular physician saying that he had had persistent pain and a negative reaction to the screws set in the bone of his hip and that removal was recommended due to the risk of future infection. She couldn’t imagine the support structure required for a man this size to recover from such an injury, or what he would need in the coming days as the holes left by removing the screws would present a weakness until they were filled in with new bone growth. Cases like this were exactly the reason why she had wanted to go on the hospital ships in the first place though.

“Now, you’ve followed the instructions?” Kiki asked, “No food for the last twenty-four hours?”

The man’s smile vanished, and Kiki heard his stomach growl. Apparently, he had followed the instructions, but he didn’t seem so happy about it though.

“My brother is planning a feast for me when I get home in a couple of days” The man replied.

“Really?” Kiki asked, “What are we talking about here?”

The man seemed delighted to tell Kiki all about the spread of food that his family was preparing. Her understanding was that the people who lived on these islands considered even relatively minor surgery to be huge deal and that she needed to respect that. Keeping the man talking made getting him through the preparation easier until Kiki handed him off to the Anesthesiologist. It was her lot to prepare the patient because the Orthopedist she would be assisting said she was better at that sort of thing. It took a few minutes to thoroughly wash her hands and arms, but the nature of the SMS Antonia and her means of propulsion meant that hot water, electricity, and even the live steam that was used by the operating theater’s autoclaves were in abundant supply. So, Kiki understood that she wouldn’t need to act as if this were really in the field.



Tempelhof, Berlin

Both Sophie and Ziska smelled of chlorine when they came into Marie Alexandra’s bedroom. They had gone swimming after school and were chattering excitedly about how they were going to camp over the Summer Holiday this year. There had been a bit of disappointment when they had learned that they wouldn’t be spending the holiday at Hohenzollern Castle this year, but being at a lake high up in the Alps and living in a cabin was almost as good of an adventure. They were leaving in a few days and Marie wished that she were going with them, as strange as that sounded. Instead, she was going to Canada to spend August with her grandparents. For the life of her, she couldn’t understand why her parents were making her go. Marie knew that Oma Blackwood hated her for some reason. The few times that she had met her paternal grandmother that much had been perfectly clear. Marie’s father said that was the exact reason why she needed to go, because his mother didn’t really know her and that needed to change. He also mentioned that both his parents were getting on in years and the time for petty nonsense was over. So, she was going to Canada for the summer and that was that.

What was proving to be the most difficult part for Marie so far was that her mother had said that she could only bring one suitcase. That was why she was trying to pack only the basics, or her idea of the basics anyway and her mother kept telling her to try again. It wasn’t as if her mother hadn’t offered to help, but the thought of excepting that help was infuriating. Marie wasn’t a little girl and didn’t want to be treated like one.

So, Marie was once again packing the suitcase as Sophie and Ziska messed about with her extensive wardrobe. They seemed to be rather delighted by the prospect.
 
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