Search terms used: lost limb(s), severed arm, blood loss after severed arm, severed arm first aid, sword cut through joint, sword cut through bone
My character is a 17 year-old healthy female who fights with her bare fists so she's in pretty good shape. In the scene, she gets her arm severed by a sword and maybe has the sword land on her ribcage after (although this other wound shouldn't be too much of a threat compared to the lost limb).
The attacker is a "friend" (18 year-old male and a very skilled sword fighter) who betrays her so she doesn't expect to get hit. She is standing up and her arm is aligned with her body, if it makes any difference. Also, the sword comes from the side, in a quick, cutting motion.
My big question is: After her arm is cut off, how long can she survive with just a tourniquet on? I know there's the danger of infection but my main concern is the blood loss.
I'm thinking of having the cut in the elbow since joints are weaker than bones (and it would be a bit more realistic than having a sword cut through bone). I would need about 10-20 minutes (although the more, the better), so the medic has time to kill the attacker and then carry her to a place that is safe enough for him to take proper care of her and magically reattach the arm (he can't risk doing too much healing on the spot since it is too dangerous and both of them will be too weak to fight after).
Also, does it matter which arm gets cut, time wise?
What if the medic forgets to put the tourniquet before attacking?
This scene is pretty much an idea at the moment and I'm open to any advice on how i can improve it, reallistically. I appreciate any and all constructive criticism and thank you in advance!