liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote in little_details,

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A question of massive blood loss

Just found out about this community. Thank god I've found you.

The scary thing is, I work as a technical medical writer, am surrounded by heavy medical books, and I can't seem to get my hands on information about this. It could be because I work at the pharmaceutical end of the equation and not critical care.

All I'm looking for is a pointer to either a resource or Web site that can answer these questions. (Although if someone has the answers, that would be great, too.):

I need to find the following information for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic:

  • How much blood can a person lose before they pass out?
  • How much blood can a person lose before they die?
  • If a person loses enough blood to bring them to the edge of death, how long would they be in the hospital after the fact? You may assume that there are other injuries, including two broken ribs, head wound (a deep cut over the left eye), minor concussion, contusions, cuts, scrapes.
  • What would be the course of treatment for massive blood loss? (I would assume transfusions, but how many? I would also assume IV infusions with medications and electrolytes, but for how long? Is oxygen necessary, since the blood loss means reduced oxygenated red blood cells reaching the tissues? Antibiotics would definitely be used to reduce the risk of infection, although I have a pretty good idea which ones would be used, but I'm not sure about other kinds of medications that might be involved in this case.)
  • What are some of the possible medical complications? (Shock, infection, fevers, etc.)
  • How long would a person be unconscious? How long would they be "in and out"? (I would assume we're talking at least two days for a normal human to recover to something like full consciousness, albeit there'd be a lot of sleeping for awhile do to extreme anemia, but this is just a minor fact I'd like to check.)

Yes, I'm asking because I need to write a scene involving a vampire draining blood from a human with the intent to turn them. And I'm also planning on writing some detail of that person in the hospital recovering from the attack. And although I may be going for the information overkill in the little details, you never know which detail will be important.

Just point me to a good site or information source, and I'll be grateful (and send y'all a link).

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