For those of us who don't work as emergency medical personnel, observing a traumatic injury can be completely overwhelming. Even if you don't freeze up or suddenly become ill, it's a natural human response to start to panic when there's blood gushing everywhere. This panic is amplified exponentially when the one who's bleeding out is a close friend or family member — it might even be your own blood splattering on the ground.
Fortunately, by preparing yourself mentally for this physical trauma, you can snap yourself out of the panic and take action. Even if there's a huge pool of blood surrounding the victim, there may still be time to save their life. The following video was posted by North American Rescue on Facebook, and shows a demonstration of just how much blood can be lost before the victim becomes disoriented or loses consciousness.
You may have heard that a typical adult body contains roughly 5 liters of blood — that's 10.5 pints. The instructor in this video demonstrates by filling five one-liter bottles with red liquid. As he pours out the contents, he describes what effects the victim will experience. When a full liter of blood loss has occurred, he says “it's bad, but not as bad as you think.”
Even after losing a full liter — that's 2.1 pints, or 20% of total blood volume — the victim should still be physically able to focus, assuming the psychological shock doesn't cause them to pass out. As blood loss increases past 1.5 liters, the instructor says vision will start to “tunnel in” and the victim may become unable to distinguish friends from foes.
Check out the full video below. It may help you keep some perspective if you ever witness a traumatic injury (or experience one firsthand). Of course, this also reinforces the importance of having a tourniquet on hand to stop the bleed ASAP. Note: This video contains some not-safe-for-work language.
Thanks to contributor Cameron Carden for letting us know about this video.