How Long Does It Take To Bleed Out
When blood loss nears 30 to 40 percent of total blood volume, your body will have a traumatic reaction. Your blood pressure drops down even further, and your heart rate increases significantly. In fact, if you’ve ever been in shock after losing consciousness, you know that the feeling is similar to what happens when someone faints. If this state occurs within minutes, it’s called hemorrhagic shock; if it lasts for hours, it’s known as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). When DIC takes place, the blood begins to clot throughout your entire body — not just on the surface like with superficial bleeding. This means there’s no longer any circulation at all in certain areas. The result? Death.
The good news is that most people don’t actually bleed out until they lose about half their blood volume. So how long can you go before you actually die from a massive loss of blood? Well, the answer depends on whether or not you’re male or female. According to the American Red Cross, men can survive up to six days without treatment while women can survive up to four days. Now, we aren’t talking about death by starvation here because food intake isn’t necessary for survival. We mean actual death through blood loss. But why is this? How does gender affect our ability to cope with massive blood loss? Read on to find out.
Men are generally larger than women, which gives them an advantage during times of injury. Because men typically weigh more, they have less blood per pound than women do. A man who weighs 180 pounds has approximately 120 ounces of blood compared to a woman who weighs 140 pounds, which only counts to 90 ounces. Not only that, but men also tend to have thicker skin than women, giving them another boost during trauma. Women, however, have two other advantages over men. First, women usually menstruate every 28 days, meaning they replace the blood lost naturally. Second, women’s bodies produce more platelets, white blood cells that help stop the spread of infection. With these factors combined, a woman would be able to last slightly longer than a man without treatment.
So, how much blood needs to be lost before death from bleeding sets in? Depending on where the bleeding originates, it could take anywhere from 15-30% of the total blood volume to kill a person. For example, if the bleeding were to come directly from the femoral artery, then the amount needed to cause death would be around 45%. However, if the bleeding was coming from somewhere else, such as the stomach, then the amount required might only need to be 20% of the total blood volume. Once blood reaches this point, your blood pressure will decrease dramatically, causing damage to vital organs and leading to organ failure. At this point, death is inevitable unless something is done immediately. And remember, the time frame mentioned above refers to people who haven’t received any kind of medical attention yet. If you’ve already gone to the hospital, chances are you’ll receive some kind of transfusion therapy. During this process, doctors use saline solution to restore blood volume. They do so by either taking blood from one part of the body and putting it into another area or by using a device that pumps blood outside of the body.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a country that offers first aid training, you should always carry a basic life support kit on hand. These kits contain bandages, gauze pads, scissors, tape, and other items used to treat minor injuries. If you don’t own one, you can purchase one online or check local hospitals to see if they offer CPR classes.
Learn more interesting facts about blood loss on the next page.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross Societies, the average lifespan of a human being is 78 years old. That means humans can theoretically live for two decades beyond our normal life expectancy! What makes us different from animals is our longevity. Why do some species age faster than others? Some theorize that it’s due to free radicals. Free radicals are molecules formed during oxygen metabolism that attack healthy tissue. They can lead to cancerous tumors and premature aging. Humans, however, have developed antioxidants to combat free radical formation. Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, selenium, glutathione, zinc, copper and manganese. Eating foods rich in antioxidant nutrients helps prevent many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration.
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