This week’s blog may be a little gruesome for some. I apologise if it’s too much for some of you.
For the rest, I’ll continue.
I recently had to research blood loss, and in particular, how much would be fatal. Not only that, but I wanted to know what the appropriate amount of blood would look like if it was spilled on the ground.
First up – quantity
The average adult human body contains around 5 litres of blood (give or take).
1.5 litres – life is sustainable and this can be recovered from as the body makes more blood to replace the loss.
2 litres – this amount is too much for the body to replace on its own. If the person doesn’t get the appropriate medical treatment in time, they would probably die.
Over 2 litres – fatal.
Blood loss causes pale skin, rapid heartbeat, and weakness to begin with, then as further blood is lost, coldness in extremities and then death as organs fail. How the blood is, er, removed from the body is a whole new research project…
Next – appearance of the spillage
I probably could find the answer to this on the internet, but what’s the fun in that? I wouldn’t be able to recreate the scene I want to write on the internet, so I thought I’d work it out myself.
In the scene, a headless mannequin is on the ground and there is large amounts of blood splashed around. To get a reasonably accurate idea of what it would look like I made an outline using my hubby as a model and bits of wood inside the outline to represent the mannequin. All I needed then was the blood - or in this case, a blood substitute!
We all know blood and water aren’t the same thing. To get my blood substitute I used my good friend Google to find a recipe. This gave me a heap of results with most recipes calling for glucose syrup. Hmm. Not a budget friendly option, so I decided to go with cheap tomato sauce instead. Just as effective, and the right colour, too.
Judge for yourself! I used 4 litres of ‘blood’ on my ‘mannequin’, and the result was very helpful. And it was fun!
('Blood Loss Research - The Fun Way' Blog Post by Alison Clifford, published 24 March 2017)
What's it about?
All about my writing life: news, research, books I've read, and more.