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Old 08-22-2019, 09:11 AM   #1
Luke Bunyip
 
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Default [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Just watched Plainly Difficult's latest video "The Goiania Incident" (YT link)

My first thoughts? Raiding that abandoned hospital pharmacy? Well... there might be a problem with that.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Originally Posted by Luke Bunyip View Post
Just watched Plainly Difficult's latest video "The Goiania Incident" (YT link)

My first thoughts? Raiding that abandoned hospital pharmacy? Well... there might be a problem with that.
Sounds like a tactic for breaking out the radiation rules in an ATE that had a decidedly nonradioactive ending.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Guilty as charged.

Been thinking of using something similar, in the form a 'minor' radioactive contamination event. The actual aim being, to prime my PCs to think that they are dealing with something similar, when in fact it's actually an outbreak of cannibalism.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

The problem is that a lot of pharmaceuticals will be ruined within days after the fall because they require refrigeration. Some compounds are stable for years though, and a few for decades, but they eventually all go bad. Heck, even scalpels will go 'bad' if removed from their containers and exposed to air for too long.

Most post-apocalyptic scenarios assume too much durability for human artifacts. Modern firearms will become non-functional after a few decades of neglect, even under perfect storage conditions, and most modern buildings will not last much longer without proper maintenance. After a few centuries, very few artifacts will be functional, especially since almost everything is built with planned obsolescence in mind.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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The problem is that a lot of pharmaceuticals will be ruined within days after the fall because they require refrigeration. Some compounds are stable for years though, and a few for decades, but they eventually all go bad. Heck, even scalpels will go 'bad' if removed from their containers and exposed to air for too long.
In a basic retail pharmacy, there isn't much in the fridge except insulin, eye drops, and vaccines. And at least the insulin can be left at room temperature for a few weeks to avoid the discomfort of ice cold injections - the package is designed to have about the number of doses as would be needed during the time it can safely go unrefrigerated. A lot of other medications that have limited self life once prepared (like liquid antibiotics) are stored as a self-stable powder and reconstituted.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Caveat, in regards to timing:

I'm approaching this from the viewpoint of the setting I'm developing for a campaign set Down Under.

I plan on initially throwing my players into a prequel set in the first year AtE, Their final PCs will be the offspring of their starting PCs.

EDIT: Those that survive. A TPK would be.. awkward.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Drugs don't last long but they're all religiously marked with expiration dates. Insulin is dead a day or two after the fridge warms up, same with withdraw medications, injected inoculations.

Inhalers, hypoxia arresters and Epi Pens and contraceptives last about a year. A lot of Antibiotics start go go after a year, some last a bit longer. I remember mood stabilizers having a short shelf-life but that could be old information.

Pain killers and fever remedies, anti-inflamatories, flu remedies last much longer than their expiration date, probably up to a decade. They just get weaker.

Scalpels, tongue depressors, clamps, forceps, thermometer covers, all that examination and surgery business, comes in individually plastic wrapped packs. Even towels are sterilized and sealed in bundles. You could raid a hospital under water and come up with perfectly find surgical tools.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Drugs don't last long but they're all religiously marked with expiration dates.
<snip>
Scalpels, tongue depressors, clamps, forceps, thermometer covers, all that examination and surgery business, comes in individually plastic wrapped packs.
Nice listing. Ta muchly.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

Without getting specific, my medication was perfectly functional 4 years past expiration date. So more than a few can last a bit for AtE emergencies.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: [AtE] Abandoned medical equipment, and the problems that they can present.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post

Most post-apocalyptic scenarios assume too much durability for human artifacts. Modern firearms will become non-functional after a few decades of neglect, even under perfect storage conditions, and most modern buildings will not last much longer without proper maintenance. After a few centuries, very few artifacts will be functional, especially since almost everything is built with planned obsolescence in mind.
The bolded section couldn't be more wrong. I do a bit of shooting, but I mostly build houses, and occasionally do remodels of older houses. Right down the street from me is an old farm house, a rather baroque and charming one, that has been abandoned since I was a boy. It's still standing, and it's reasonably sound, though falling branches and rain damage have destroyed to structural integrity of the roof. The foundation, walls and floor system are all rather intact, and it wouldn't be impossible to fix the house and return it to habitable condition. Heck, even right now, there's a few places where you can sit during a rainstorm and not get wet.

While doing a remodel on a house, my uncle found an old .38 revolver in the wall. Rusty, duct-taped handle, it had obviously been abandoned for years, possibly decades. A little bit of spit and polish(and maybe a wire brush), and the little guy still plinks just as well a cheap handgun today.

I've been in dozens of houses that were built in the 1880s through 1930s, some of which have been abandoned long enough that freaking trees were growing into them, and I've seen them rehabilitated with a modicum of labor and capital. I've gone out into the woods to salvage old wood(because the quality of lumber has dropped SEVERELY since the 1940s) for a construction project, and despite the house looking like a stiff wind could blow it over, we had to beat and bang and pry with hammers and pry-bars to get the wood we wanted. We're talking about houses that have been abandoned in the woods for longer than I've been alive(I'll be 36 tomorrow), and were probably built before my grandfather was born, and they're slowly, very slowly, decaying.

So long as the roof on a house stays intact, and nothing major like a flood or fire happens, a house can last for centuries. Part of this is simply because of the wood: old growth lumber is just plain better, in every regard, except for scarcity and cost, than modern fast grown lumber. This can be easily checked by looking at the growth rings of any particular piece of lumber, but especially for 2x4s(the bread and butter of house framing): go down to your local Lowes or Home Depot and check out their lumber. You'll be lucky to count 20 growth rings in a 2x4. Meanwhile, if you pull a 2x4 out of a house build at the turn of the 20th century, you'll find 2x4s that have more than fifty or seventy growth rings, all nice and tight, rather than thick and spaced out. you'll see heartwood, which you'll almost never see in modern dimensional lumber, even in Special Select, which is the highest grade of lumber you're typically gonna buy from a lumberyard or lumber mill.
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