How would relatives of an accident victim be greeted and what would they be told at the hospital?

Reply Tue 11 May, 2021 02:52 am
I need some help with a chapter of a novel I am writing. The main character, a teenage girl, is informed by her father on the phone that her mother has been run over by a car and been taken to hospital. (Dad had of course been notified by police). Daughter then goes from the party she was at by taxi to the hospital where her father is waiting. Soon after the girl's arrival the mother will die of her injuries. In order to get the right atmosphere and make it sound right, I would like to know how the girl would be greeted by medical staff, where her father might be waiting - I imagine in the lobby or the front entrance - what she and her father would be told about the injuries, and where they would have to wait until told the news - is there a special quiet room, or would they just be in the lobby or general waiting room? Would they be allowed to see the mother either before or after her death? The scene takes place in the late evening, around eleven pm, in a major city. Thanks very much for your help.
Reply Tue 11 May, 2021 05:18 am
Which country? Which year? Religious hospital? Teaching hospital? Something else?

I ask because there are differing issues surrounding patient privacy. In the US, HIPAA covers a lot of what you're asking in terms of how public a setting would be: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/index.html

Unless heroic measures are being taken to save the mother's life, it's likely that the family would be allowed in before/at the time of her death, and probably afterwards, at least for a while.

Your daughter character is distraught, and in an unfamiliar place. She will have to be guided at least a bit in terms of where to wait. These days because of Covid, unless she was being brought in on a gurney, they'd do a temperature check or at least ask Covid questions. After 9/11, hospitals would have more security. Not necessarily cops or security guards; more like a front desk stopping people from just running in.
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