Saucery (saucery) wrote in little_details,

A stab wound in the thigh.

Greetings, kind souls! Your assistance, if you do offer it, will be greatly appreciated.

I tried searching the tags, but didn't find anything that matched this exact scenario or answered my specific questions. I've also searched Google extensively for "stab wound recovery time", "femoral artery stab wound", "knife injury in the thigh" and a whole bunch of other phrases, but most resources gave rough estimates on recovery times, and didn't really answer my other questions. I need a better estimate of the recovery time, at least!

Well, here's the scenario:

The stabbing occurs in a lonely alley in London, very late in the night (or very early in the morning, depending on how you look at it). The setting is contemporary (21st century).

A man in his late thirties is stabbed in the thigh, and the knife (at the very least) nicks the femoral artery.

The knife stays buried, since the criminal panics and runs.

The victim falls, hits his head on the cobblestones and loses consciousness.

Since the alley isn't exactly teeming with passers-by, it takes a while (upwards of 10-15 minutes) for help to arrive, and for someone to call an ambulance. The first person on the scene knows enough about first aid to elevate the leg and tie a strip of cloth around the wound, without taking out the knife. And then the ambulance arrives, of course.

The nearest hospital and/or emergency clinic (does Britain have emergency clinics independent from hospitals?) is only about two blocks away, so the ambulance gets there quickly.

The man survives.

My questions are:

1. Since the knife stays buried, the bleeding would be mitigated, but by how much? Would there be a pool of blood around the thigh in the first minute or so, for example?

2. Is it survivable to have the poor sod just bleed out for 10-15 minutes? Should I have help arrive sooner?

3. If he did bleed out - completely - then how long would it take, theoretically, for his heart to stop beating and for him to die? (I need to know this, because he talks about it later, with one of the doctors.)

4. Based on my previous searches on Google and on this journal, it seems that he would require vascular surgery, given that his femoral artery has been damaged. Is this true? If it isn't, then what kind of surgery would he undergo? Obviously, the muscle's been damaged, too.

5. Could someone throw some technical jargon at me? Like, how would the medical professionals attending to him at the hospital describe what's happened to him? I need to make it sound authentic.

6. What would be the recovery time? As in, how long before he's discharged from hospital, and how long before he can walk unassisted?

7. How long before the stitches come out?

8. Is it, um, okay for him to take showers while the stitches are still in there? (The "um" is for certain carnal activities that may or may not take place in said shower. Nothing strenuous, don't worry.)

9. What sorts of painkillers and other medications would the victim be given, both immediately after the wound and in the long term, for recovery? Precise brand names would be of help. (They'd need to be available in Britain.) How long would he need painkillers for? Weeks? Months?

10. The guy used to be a soldier, and had sustained a relatively severe war-related injury in the past (gun-shot wound to the shoulder), so he's made of pretty hardy stuff. But still, what would be the psychological effects of the stabbing? I mean, random enemy fire is quite different from getting stabbed by someone whose face you've seen up-close, in a place you'd come to think of as safe (or, well, at least safer).

Thanks in advance for your help! I will sacrifice many imaginary virgins at the altar of anyone that answers my questions!
Tags: ~medicine: injuries: stab wounds
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